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 Field Mark Field Conservative, Cities of London and Westminster 4:15 pm, 16th May 2002

Reluctant as I am to engage in too much more special pleading—there has been some from all parts of the UK—a concern in central London is the potential impact of the congestion charge from next April. I want to understand some of the thinking behind the clause where it refers simply to ''public transport bus services''. Was any thought given to including private transport bus services, those that are employer-subsidised for large numbers of employees who have to go from one part of town to another? [Interruption.] They will all be included. I am glad that they have been covered.

I return to the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs. It strikes me that, to a large extent, given the environmental concerns that perhaps underlie some of the Government's thinking, buses can be among the worst offenders. It would be unwise, given the burgeoning growth in tramways, to exclude trams, if not trains, from the provisions of the clause.