U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he will change the law to stop energy companies claiming tax back against capital costs that have already been paid by business customers.
Such claims, had they gone ahead, could have cost the Treasury as much as 900 million pounds ($1.36 billion), Osborne said in a statement on the Treasury website today.
“It is completely unacceptable that utility companies think they can claim for huge amounts of money that business customers have already covered the cost for,” Osborne said. “By legislating today, we will prevent utility companies from making these claims, ensuring fairness for British taxpayers.”
The Treasury said its move was a response to a recent change in practice by utility companies, to attempt to claim such costs back against tax. It is the latest example of David Cameron’s government moving against utility companies. Cameron also wants to force them to put all customers on their cheapest tariff.