Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

[Un-allotted Half Day] — Fuel Costs

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 5:35 pm on 7th February 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Treasury) 5:35 pm, 7th February 2011

The hon. Gentleman makes a valid point. He was speaking on behalf of his colleagues in the more remote parts of Scotland, obviously, rather than on behalf of his own constituents. I thought that perhaps his constituency stretched a little further than the city boundaries.

For Governments, when considering fuel duties there is always a difficult balance to be struck between the need to raise revenue and balance the public finances; the need to address environmental concerns about increasing road traffic and emissions, to which there has not been much reference in this debate; and the need to ensure that the motorist and especially people who have to rely on their cars-people who do not have a choice in the matter because of where they live and the environment in which they live-are not disproportionately penalised. The previous Labour Government endeavoured to strike that balance, despite the points that the Economic Secretary to the Treasury made. That was why, for example, in years when fuel prices rose, Labour chose to put the fuel duty escalator on hold-to help motorists meet those rising costs. It is a tricky balance to strike, however, as today's debate demonstrates, and there are no easy answers.