Clause 33 - Employer-subsidised public transport business services

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Mr Paul Boateng Mr Paul Boateng Financial Secretary, HM Treasury, The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 4:30 pm, 16th May 2002

I actually got that point, and I am about to come to it. I am afraid that I am not particularly familiar with the right hon. Gentleman's constituency, but I think that most Committee members have been to Blackpool and are quite familiar with Blackpool trams. I am familiar with the one that now runs on in the way that the right hon. Gentleman describes. I would be the first to accept that the measure currently does not apply to such tramways. Let me continue the explanation of how we came to the measure before dealing with the interesting point that he and several hon. Members have raised. It is worth examining in some detail.

The measure was recommended by an academic team that carried out research on tax incentives for encouraging green travel to work. We undertook careful research before deciding that the tax exemption was a worthwhile measure. We commissioned professional researchers to interview about 2,000 employers. The Revenue had a consultation document on its website, which the hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton might have seen in his surfing of the net. In the assiduous way that the hon. Gentleman speaks on such matters—