23rd May 2023, London - A new comedy sketch from the makers of BBC
Three’s BAFTA-award winning “The Revolution Will be Televised” and the
environmental NGO Global Witness launches today, to expose the absurdity of
Shell’s minimal tax payments to the UK, in a year that the London-based oil
firm made record profits of £32 billion.
Released on the eve of Shell’s Annual General Meeting, the sketch features Rubinstein as a representative of the fictional charity “WRBYP” (We’re richer because you’re poorer) offering 22p to the members of the British public. This represents the amount per citizen that the UK received from Shell in tax payments last year (£15 million).
The video can be viewed via:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/JolyonRubs/status/1660676905132244992
- Or downloaded from: https://we.tl/t-NN2mFqtbJG
The film goes on to reference the over £1000 per citizen that Norway received from Shell in the same year. This despite the fact that Shell only produces 2.5 times more gas in Norway than in the UK, and doesn't produce any oil at all in Norway. In fact, the UK languishes at 19th out of the 25 countries Shell paid tax in last year, with the likes of Qatar, Brazil, US, Germany, Italy and Australia all collecting significantly more per head than the UK.
Alice Harrison, Fossil Fuels Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:
“2022 saw Shell rake in record profits amidst a deep and painful energy crisis that pushed millions of Brits into poverty. There is no way morally or frankly just practically that British citizens should have received the pitiful sum of just 22p each from the fossil fuel giant in taxes last year. To add insult to injury, our government continues to hand the oil and gas industry billions of pounds in tax breaks and other subsidies.”
“What this tells us is that we have a government in the UK that protects polluters, not people, and marches to the fossil fuel industry tune. At a time when we should be phasing out fossil fuels, it's particularly worrying that the government doesn’t even have the courage to take a decent amount of tax from oil and gas companies - the so-called windfall tax that was introduced last year clearly isn’t working.”
Jolyon Rubenstein said:
“This country has found itself in the midst of one of the worst energy crises in memory but what has been a disaster for us has been dollars for the likes of Shell. They have amassed extraordinary wealth whilst we have struggled to heat and eat and their disgraceful tax payment is just the icing on this particular bitter tasting cake.”
“It is utterly baffling that the UK Government's response to this total scandal is to consider cutting the windfall tax. This is corporate fossil fuelled politics in action; greed and profit over care and kindness. Our new film with Global Witness shows how absurd the UK public finds Shell’s tax arrangements, it’s time the government caught up.”
The film is the second collaboration between Global Witness and Jolyon Rubinstein this year. In January, as BP and Shell announced their record-breaking 2022 profits, they first launched “We’re Richer Because You’re Poorer”, with a viral clip calling on the British public to pay more to the fossil fuel industry.
- Still images can be downloaded here: https://lollstudiosltd.wetransfer.com/downloads/f8750d334dfdd2305069e2746a4d453d20230518111011/e70aca