SHELL has been slammed for announcing billions in profits as families struggle with rocketing energy bills.
The firm has recorded the highest profit in its 115-year history of $40billion (£32bn).
Political and environmental campaigners criticised the profit jump as “obscene” and “outrageous”.
The oil and gas company posted profits of $9.81bn in the final quarter of last year, compared with $6.4bn a year in 2021.
That took annual adjusted profits to $39.87bn in 2022, a huge increase on the $19.3bn notched up in 2021.
The figure represents one of the highest profits ever recorded by a UK company.
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It comes as UK households are facing higher energy bills in April when the Energy Price Guarantee increases to £3,000.
Energy prices have soared in recent months following the invasion of Ukraine, resulting in massive profits for energy companies.
The Trades Union Congress called for the energy profits levy, the windfall tax which went up from 25% to 35% in January, to be increased further.
“These obscene profits are an insult to working families,” said TUC general secretary Paul Nowak.
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“The Government must impose a larger windfall tax on energy companies. Billions are being left on the table.”
Outraged Brits have taken to social media to comment on the profits.
One wrote: "Shell's profits are obscene, they are enriching their company and their shareholders at the expense of the rest of us."
Another said: "£32bn profits and they won’t pay uk tax this year.
"Rest of us struggling with increased fuel prices and we pay our tax as usual.
"It's beggars belief. Don’t use Shell!!!!"
Shell operates globally and mostly in the wholesale market rather than supplying direct to consumers.
It does run Shell Energy in the UK which has 1.4million customers, but it is said to be considering selling off the company amid tough market conditions.
Shell chief executive Wael Sawan said: “Our results in Q4 and across the full year demonstrate the strength of Shell’s differentiated portfolio, as well as our capacity to deliver vital energy to our customers in a volatile world.
“We believe that Shell is well positioned to be the trusted partner through the energy transition."
What help is available for energy bills?
Firstly, though, talk to your energy supplier – if you're falling behind with payments there's a lot they can do to help.
They might offer support such as a payment plan review, repayment plans or payment breaks.
Consider a hardship fund – your supplier may have access to charitable trusts and funds.
Contact them and ask to see what is available, though the application process is very in-depth.
Millions of households started receiving a £400 energy bill discount from October 1.
Households will have already received a £66 energy bill discount in October, November and £67 in December and January.
There will also be a payment worth £67 in February and March.
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Between November 2022 and March 2023, a £300 one-off "Pensioner Cost of Living Payment" is being paid out to eight million households.
It is being given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over state pension age.
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