Brian H Donohoe: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that nuclear power is part of the equation and that the Scottish Executive have made a grave error of judgment in ruling it out as a source of energy in Scotland?
Brian H Donohoe: Does the Minister accept that the best answer to this question is to freeze energy prices? Surely that is the answer.
Brian H Donohoe: One area of business that was taken from the post offices some time ago was the issuing of TV licences. Has the Minister had any discussions with his ministerial contacts about bringing that service back to the post offices? Many old people still do not have access to the internet.
Brian H Donohoe: Does the hon. Gentleman also consider that a pension pot is a deferred income and should be treated as such? The problem is that not many people do so.
Brian H Donohoe: Does my hon. Friend make a distinction between a scheme with trustees and one under which the member must look after their own interests as it has no provision for a set of trustees to oversee it?
Brian H Donohoe: The rates for a small restaurant in the shopping mall in my area are £30,000, but the mall owner has put the rent at £30,000 as well, so the overall cost—not just the rates—is impacting on the business, which has to make £60,000 a year before it can start to make a profit.
Brian H Donohoe: The hon. Gentleman is making a valid point. Does he accept that it was the Conservatives who allowed out-of-town shopping centres, which have been the reason for the town centres in my area collapsing as places of retail opportunity?
Brian H Donohoe: It is exactly that practice that happens in railway maintenance, only because certification is needed. Surely in such circumstances it should not be legal for people to be forced into a situation in which they do not get any work for weeks on end.
Brian H Donohoe: Given that many employees have recently been denied access to tribunals, what the Secretary of State has said is surely illogical.
Brian H Donohoe: May I ask one question about my right hon. Friend’s position, and the position of any Member standing at the next general election? When a charity turns up at a hustings and issues leaflets, that will become illegal. How, in those circumstances, will a candidate get to know about that charity and take forward its work?
Brian H Donohoe: As someone who has been blacklisted three times in the past, I can tell the Minister that it is an obnoxious way of going about business. Will he ensure that legislation is put in place to ensure that people like me and many others in Scotland do not have to face such a practice in future?
Brian H Donohoe: Perhaps I am an anorak, as the chairman of the pension fund for Members, but one of the issues is the question of contracting out. As I understand it, the Bill does not allow contracting out. Am I right to say that people like us and many others in the public sector will face an increase in national insurance contributions?
Brian H Donohoe: In that case, it will mean a pay cut to a considerable number of people in the public sector.
Brian H Donohoe: Replying to earlier questions, the Deputy Prime Minister blamed everybody but himself and his Government for the fixing of fuel prices. I am old enough to remember the Prices Commission, which ensured that the price of petrol and other commodities was the same across the whole land. Asda is able to do that, but the oil companies are price fixing in my constituency and elsewhere. Also, this...
Brian H Donohoe: What plans he has for road maintenance funding.
Brian H Donohoe: Across the whole United Kingdom, potholes are appearing in all our roads because of the cuts taking place. I remember my grandmother telling me, “A stitch in time saves nine.” It is for the Government to start believing that that is a good way forward for the maintenance of our roads. It is costing local government more money in compensation for cars in accidents as a result of potholes...
Brian H Donohoe: I presume that Dr Livingstone was a great educationalist, who believed in education. What has the Minister’s right hon. Friend the Secretary of State done to set up the school-industry liaison committees that he promised me some months ago?
Brian H Donohoe: That has nothing to do with this debate. The hon. Gentleman should know that his proposal, which is what we are discussing, does not constitute the devolution of APD. What he is talking about is the equivalent of what happens in Northern Ireland, which affects one flight a day. What I and the all-party aviation group are suggesting is that APD be taken away completely. If he proposed that, I...
Brian H Donohoe: How many journeys would be affected by the new clause?
Brian H Donohoe: May I draw the hon. Gentleman’s attention to the wording of new clause 3? Does it not in fact cover only long-haul flights? It does not cover connecting flights through Heathrow or any other airports. How many actual journeys will it therefore cover? I understand that there are only two such long-haul journeys per week to Northern Ireland, for example.