Tory windfall tax row widens as two more Cabinet ministers reject the policy

The Northern Ireland Secretary insisted the Government could not rule anything out if investments did not take place, but stressed ministers were “all very right to be wary of windfall taxes”.

“I’m a Conservative, I believe in a low tax economy. We want to see as much money in people’s pockets as we possibly can and businesses investing in high productivity and high skilled high paid jobs.”

And accusing Labour of prioritising “ a few headlines” over supporting business, he warned: “Dropping those kinds of things out there can scare off investment. That is damaging to the UK economy.”

At the Welsh Conservative conference on Saturday, Mr Javid said: “You just mentioned the windfall tax idea. Instinctively I don’t like it. I just think we’ve got to be really careful.

“As a country, we have a very hard won but strong reputation on being pro-business, welcoming investment.

“Businesses like certainty and of course there’s no such thing as pure certainty, but when it comes to taxes, I think we’ve just got to be really careful with these sudden taxes that could have an impact in the long term that we would come to regret.”

Sam Rowlands, the Tory Senedd member who was interviewing Mr Javid on stage, responded: “I think those points will certainly be welcome in this room among Welsh Conservatives, so thank you for making those.”

Voter research conducted in Whitehall found a windfall tax was popular among the public, with as many as eight in 10 backing the tax raid on energy companies, which have enjoyed unexpectedly high profits after prices soared in recent months.

Boris Johnson said in a recent radio interview that a windfall tax was not the right way forward and he would instead prefer to see increased investment from oil firms in new energy sources.

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