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No need for windfall taxes if humble businesses do the right thing

IN late May, the British government announced intentions to impose a so-called windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies.

Energy companies in the United Kingdom are to pay an additional 25 per cent tax for the next 12 months in the form of an energy profits levy.

The tax should help fund at least £5 billion (S$8.4 billion) of support for Britons facing a cost-of-living crisis.

The idea is to target those that lucked out - in the case of the energy players, benefiting from the soaring cost of oil and gas as supply is constrained by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The UK has used such levies in the past. In 1997, extra taxes were imposed on the excess profits of privatised utilities. The...

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