The chief executive of Shell has implored the government to start taxing oil and gas companies in order to protect the poorest people in society from soaring energy costs.
Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London, Ben van Beurden said: “One way or another there needs to be government intervention that somehow results in protecting the poorest.
“That probably may then mean that governments need to tax people in this room to pay for it.”
His comment was in reference to companies rather than individuals, a Shell spokesperson later said.
High prices and market volatility is damaging to society, Mr van Beurden said.
“You cannot have a market that behaves in such a way… that is going to damage a significant part of society,” he told those in attendance.
Liz Truss has remained staunchly opposed to a windfall tax on gas and energy profits, preferring instead to lump the burden of the current cost-of-living crisis onto taxpayers instead.
The European Union, conversely, has approved emergency levies on energy firms’ unusually high profits.
Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that the proposal could raise 140 billion euro (£121 billion) to help people hit by spiralling energy prices.
She said: “These companies are making revenues they never accounted for, they never even dreamt of.
“In our social market economy, profits are OK, they are good. But in these times it is wrong to receive extraordinary record revenues and profits benefiting from war and on the back of consumers.
“In these times, profits must be shared and channelled to those who need it the most.