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[Un-allotted Half Day] — Fuel Costs

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

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

It is up to the Economic Secretary to answer the questions. We are certainly interested in the conversations that she is having with the EU, but we have major concerns about whether it is practical to take the proposal forward. We would like more information to be convinced that it will solve the problem.

The rural rebate proposal was, of course, a Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment, and it seems that the Government are now taking it up. John Thurso referred to the fact that he has raised the matter on many occasions over the past 12 years, and when he was his party's transport spokesman he proposed a duty differential based on the Scottish Government's method of having eight categories to distinguish between urban, rural and remote areas. Again, that could become quite complex. It would be quite easy to calculate rebates in the case of geographically isolated, sparsely populated areas, but in southern Scotland, where there is more of a patchwork of those categories, it could be difficult.