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[Un-allotted Half Day] — Fuel Costs

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 7th February 2011.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 5:00 pm, 7th February 2011

The hon. Gentleman will know that alongside those measures to support companies, particularly small ones, I could have mentioned the regional growth fund and the regional reduction in national insurance for new start-up companies creating new jobs. He will also be aware of the rise in the personal allowance, which has removed about 880,000 people from paying income tax altogether. We have also raised the threshold for national insurance, which means that employers no longer have to pay employer national insurance for thousands of employees. Across the board we are doing what we can, despite the challenging financial deficit left to us. We are doing what we can to make sure that we tackle the overriding priority of sorting out the deficit-that is what we have to do. For motorists, companies, families and unemployed people wanting to get back into the employment market and get a job, we have to get the economy back on its feet and public finances back on a sustainable footing. At the same time, we understand the pressures and challenges for motorists.

As things stand, there are alternatives for the devolved Administrations. I have to challenge hon. Members representing the Scottish National party in Scottish constituencies on whether they have considered using some of the devolved Administration budget to fund their own grant scheme to support motorists in their areas. They have taken different decisions on tuition fees to those taken in England and there is now additional scope for them to see this issue as a priority for their spending, as well as for the national Government to consider how we might be able to help in terms of tax policy.