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Time to introduce ‘super-profit’ tax on Oil companies and Banks

31 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has called on the British and Irish Governments to introduce a 'super-profit' tax after Shell Oil announced profits for 2007 had soared to $31.3bn from $25.4bn the previous year.

Mitchel McLaughlin said;

"The Shell announcement comes shortly after record profit declarations by the major Banks.

"At a time when the number of elderly and disadvantaged members of our communities are suffering the effects of fuel poverty, cold conditions and increased erosion of income, I find it obscene that the Oil Companies such as Shell, BP etc and the Banking sector can realise these massive profits.

"The announced profits represent in the region of £1.9milllion an hour. I call on Consumer groups, environmentalists and trade unions to make their voices clearly heard in demanding that the governments act in the interests of the consumer and protect them from the greed of multi-national companies.

"The year on year announcements by both Oil conglomerates and the Banking sector of ever increasing record profits while they continue to increase the cost of their products to the consumer must be tackled. The numbers of people who die because of fuel poverty increases each year in parallel with the soaring profits being made by oil companies. This is unacceptable.

"The enormous earnings of Shell and BP are mainly the result of soaring crude oil prices, which have rocketed to over $90 a barrel. It is the responsibility of elected representatives to expose abuse of power wherever it exists and I believe that governments have allowed oil companies to abuse their unique position in the economy for far too long.

"I believe that the governments should introduce a special tax to be applied to profits over a reasonable percentage. This tax on Oil company and Banking profits in particular should be ring fenced to assist those suffering the effects of fuel poverty and in job creation projects in areas of deprivation and disadvantage." ENDS

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