British Gas and Shells obscene profits and fat cat salaries as Brits struggle

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Energy firms have been accused of ripping off customers after reporting “obscene” £11billion profits amid soaring bills.

British Gas owner Centrica saw profits rise five-fold to an eye-watering £1.3bn.

And Shell’s earnings hit a record £9.5bn – doubling profits within a year.

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The massive sums come as annual energy bills are set to hit an eye-watering average £4,000 per home this winter.

Unions and green energy campaigners blasted the huge profits.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These eye-watering profits are an insult to the millions of working people struggling to get by because of soaring energy bills.

“Energy bills are rising 23 times faster than wages. We need to hold down profits and boost wages.”

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Sana Yusuf said: “Clearly not everyone is struggling with the energy crisis.

“These bumper profits will be greeted with disbelief by the millions of people across the UK who are faced with rocketing energy prices.

“The Government must impose a tougher windfall tax on energy firms.”

Meanwhile, in a speech in Birmingham, PM Boris “Bozo” Johnson acknowledged the difficulties bill payers are facing but added: “Sometimes you’ve got to go through periods of difficulty and you’ve got to remember that they are just inevitable.”

Centrica chief executive Chris O’Shea, who earns £812,000 a year, refused to pass on profits to consumers.

He said that by running British Gas prudently he is saving customers more money.

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Yet the company said it would start paying dividends to shareholders for the first time since 2020.

Shell has continued to profit from massive energy price hikes following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Shell boss Ben van Beurden claims the company is using its “financial strength” to invest in secure energy supplies and to cut carbon emissions.

The government was contacted for comment last night.

Consumer champion Martin Lewis has urged Boris Johnson and the Tory leadership rivals to cut bills as energy profits soar.

The MoneySavingExpert founder said the PM’s “zombie government” is failing to address the crisis caused by energy bills.

He warned decisions on support cannot be delayed until Mr Johnson’s successor, either Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss, is in office.

Households will start receiving notice of increased bills before the Tory leadership concludes, Mr Lewis warned.

He said pledges to cut green levies or remove VAT promised by Ms Truss and Mr Sunak respectively during their leadership bids are “trivial”.

The energy price cap is expected to rise to £3,500 or more in October.

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