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[Un-allotted Half Day] — Fuel Costs

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 6:23 pm on 7th February 2011.

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Photo of Stephen Phillips Stephen Phillips Conservative, Sleaford and North Hykeham 6:23 pm, 7th February 2011

I have not seen the comments made by Edward Miliband. However, he was at the heart of the previous Administration, with all that that meant for the legacy inherited by this Government. Whatever opportunism Labour Members pursued-we saw it last week during the forestry debate from a party that sold off 25,000 acres of forest without any guarantees of rights of public access-we understand that it is the duty of the Opposition to oppose. However, I do not understand many of his policies, and I do not expect that I understand this one any better than any of the others.

We have heard about two mechanisms that might serve to address some of the difficulties associated with current high fuel prices. The first is the derogation. The Government have done more to take that forward during the few short months they have been in office than the previous Government did during the entire time they were in office. I congratulate my hon. Friend John Thurso and his predecessor who have done so much work on this matter. It is gratifying that we at last have a Government who are beginning to take this issue seriously and to negotiate on it in Europe. I hope that in due course we will see this derogation.

On behalf of my constituents, I would like to hear from the Exchequer Secretary that the pilot, whatever that might be, is rolled out not just in the remote rural areas referred to in the amendment-the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles and the Isles of Scilly-but in areas of England affected by high fuel prices.