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S&Ds: Taxing energy companies’ astronomic profits is a matter of basic social justice


08 Jul 2022



In times of high economic uncertainty when many families are struggling to pay for food and energy, taxing energy companies’ exceptionally high profits is a matter of basic social justice. The EU should properly tax these astronomic profits estimated at €200 billion in 2022, urge the S&Ds.

The additional public revenue generated through the introduction of this temporary tax could be used to create a financial instrument for the energy transition following the model of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, as well as to support the Europeans who are most affected by skyrocketing food and energy prices. In that regard we also support energy price caps.

The socialists and democrats, along with other progressive forces, strongly pushed for the Parliament to call on member states to introduce windfall profit taxes already in May, during the negotiations on the European Parliament resolution on the EU’s social and economic consequences of the Russian war against Ukraine.

Jonás Fernández, S&D spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs, said:

“While energy prices are skyrocketing and households, particularly those with lower incomes, are struggling to pay their bills, energy companies’ profits have increased massively. In this context, it is urgent to set a temporary levy to tax these windfall profits, as recommended by the EU Commission’s RepowerEU Communication and following the measures already taken by some member states such as Italy, Romania and, soon, Spain.

“This newly created tax would provide governments with additional resources to tackle the social effects of the energy and economic crises, notably by supporting the hardest hit households.”

Dan Nica, S&D spokesperson on industry, research and energy, said:

“The only way out of any crisis is solidarity. It has been proven by world and European history, and the crisis today is no exception. The times of casino capitalism are over and nobody believes anymore in the mantra of the ‘invisible hand of the market’ that has brought the world to where we are now.

“Energy companies should have their share of social responsibility, not just with nice campaigns, but with concrete financial contribution in the form of a tax. This would help national governments with the money they need for tools that mitigate the impact of the social and economic consequences for our citizens, especially for the most vulnerable members of our society.

“The EU needs a functional energy market free of speculative behaviours. This means the European Commission has to ensure there are no dominant energy players on the market. It would spare our citizens many of the problems they are struggling with, especially with the high electricity bills they receive now.”