It is intolerable that a well-considered case advanced by the British haulage industry should be dismissed as special pleading by Government Members in that way. The industry has made a good case, which the Government have not answered at all. The industry would have more respect for the Government, as would we, if its case for a lower or non-existent escalator had been answered by Ministers. We shall shortly hear a reply to the debate and we shall give the Paymaster General an opportunity to answer that case, but so far we have heard nothing.
On the fiscal neutrality of the energy tax, we should be forgiven for being a little cynical about whether the Government will pocket something along the way.