Clause 33 - Employer-subsidised public transport business services

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban Conservative, Fareham 4:15 pm, 16th May 2002

I am sorry to amplify the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs and also risk the Economic Secretary to the Treasury calling out ''Focus!'' during my remarks.

The important aspect of the clause is its narrowness in referring only to subsidised bus services. Fareham will become the starting point of the South Hampshire rapid transit system, which is funded by Government money. At a time when the Government are trying to invest in other forms of transport to improve the road network and the public transport network in many

parts of the country, it seems odd that the tax incentive in the clause is limited to buses. Therefore, I encourage the Government to think again whether the clause could be extended to light railway systems to try to bring about some of the environmental benefits that we all want in densely populated parts of the country.