THE MP for South West Wiltshire has said he has "no principled objection" to windfall taxes. 

Calls have increased for the government to impose a windfall tax on oil and gas firms to address the cost-of-living crisis - something it has not ruled out doing despite strong opposition from several ministers.

In his most recent newsletter, Andrew Murrison MP said he does not oppose them, saying that Margaret Thatcher imposed them on banks in 1981 and George Osborne did something similar with oil and gas producers in 2011 when prices and profits were high.

"Those who claim they're unconservative are plainly operating from a different script to me", he said.

The UK Government is “not going to rush into action” on making a decision over a possible windfall tax, a minister has said.

Asked when Rishi Sunak might decide on the fiscal policy, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning: “I’m not going to set a specific timetable for that, but the Chancellor is clear that we are looking at the situation with real urgency and intent.

“We are not going to rush into action, but at the same time nor are we going to sit here and not provide the support that is needed given the severity of the situation.”

Dr Murrison added: "I would be prepared to support a windfall tax as part of a package of targeted measures in order to help relieve the energy price hit we're set to take in the autumn if the industry cannot demonstrate quickly that it will use its big profits to shift to geopolitically reliable, green, cheap energy streams for the future.

"But there are drawbacks to this windfall tax. They would not be a panacea since even if you fleece producers, receipts won't be nearly enough, they would hit pension funds and savings, reduce confidence in the UK as a place to invest and, inevitably, cut the amount industry can be expected to put towards shifting from fossil fuels to renewables.

"Meanwhile the government's support package is worth over £9 billion. This includes a £200 rebate on energy bills to be paid back over the next five years, a nonrepayable £150 cash rebate for homes in lower council tax bands and a cut in fuel duty by five pence.

"It also seems quite likely that the Chancellor will lower VAT to help with the mounting cost of living."

Dr Murrison went on say that polling suggests "a substantial majority of the public wants windfall taxes", so "let's do it, but we should be alive to the consequences - good and bad".