We may not have received full details yet, but here are a couple of immediate thoughts - to the negative.
- Crass bad politics in the presentation of it: why spend a week saying, oooh, all our instincts are against a windfall tax, that's no way to behave, that's a nasty leftie idea - and then say, oh, alright then, if you insist; how about £5 billion? But we don't enjoy doing it, mind. When you give something away, do it with good grace and get the full credit.
- Oil & gas production isn't the only energy windfall sector: but I haven't read anything about hitting the other really big windfall-winners, namely nukes, and windfarms / solar / biomass etc that are subsidised via ROCs rather than CfDs - which is the majority. These guys - with costs that don't go up but sales prices that really do, and subsidy payments that carry on regardless (apart form the nukes) - have been making out like gangsters. And why did they need subsidies in the first place? Why, to make investing in renewables 'low risk'. OK, so no windfall rewards, then ... surely? Nobody, ever, should be getting windfalls on the back of public subsidy.
Incidentally, it's still not clear to me Johnson is remotely seized with the horror that is to come next winter. This was an opportunity for making some serious preparations. If you're going to give large cash sums by way of rebates, now is the exact time to start priming the populace for what may be coming next. Johnson's sole strategy is Micawber, but there ain't anything good gonna turn up before the next GE that I can see. So he's destined to be permanently on the back foot: one of the worst things I can say about a politician, particularly one who's in power.
Open thread - go for it!
UPDATE: Channel 4 reckons he's coming back again shortly for another £3bn from "electricity companies". I trust this gets to the second point above. Presumably it all points to the plan being rushed out to cover for the Gray report. What a bloody shambles.