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Hunt’s windfall tax on energy leaves several billion of the table | Nils Pratley

The chancellor’s statement, viewed through the lens of companies and investors, looks ‘a very reasonable outcome’

Always wait for the small print with windfall taxes. Shares in the quoted electricity generators – the likes of Centrica, Drax and SSE – fell for about half an hour as the chancellor announced in the House a stiff-sounding windfall tax. Then prices rebounded – plus a bit – as the details of the scheme emerged to reveal that Jeremy Hunt had been far less severe than he could have been.

“A very reasonable outcome,” commented Bernstein’s analysts, looking through the lens of companies and investors. You bet: while promising to raise £14bn from generators out to 2028, Hunt left several billion on the table.

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