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[Un-allotted Half Day] — Fuel Costs

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:31 pm on 7th February 2011.

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Photo of Stewart Hosie Stewart Hosie SNP Chief Whip, SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury) 4:31 pm, 7th February 2011

I shall move on a little. I have been generous, and I will give way again in a little while.

I was talking about the impact on business and the information provided by the FSB. As I said, 78% of its members who were surveyed in January said that the increase in duty would have an impact on them and put business profitability in jeopardy, which is the wrong thing to do when we are trying to grow our way out of recession. I would have thought that this Government would want to listen to the views of the FSB, not least because small businesses in the UK provide 90% of all our enterprises, and in Scotland they provide 50% of all jobs. They will be engines of recovery in this country.

John Walker, the UK chairman of the FSB, and Andy Willox, the FSB's Scottish policy convenor, said:

"Scottish small businesses want to grow, innovate and create employment but the cost of fuel puts the brakes on their ability to drive the recovery...Every extra penny spent at the pumps is a penny not being spent elsewhere in the economy and our members are finding it hard to plan for the future, as well as survive the present, due to the spiralling cost of fuel."