Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what steps he plans to take to implement Article 13 of the Energy Services Directive following completion of the metering and billing consultation; (2) what recent discussions he has had with the Department for Communities and Local Government on how smart meters can contribute to the plans for carbon zero houses in 2016.
Paddy Tipping: What progress has been made to widen and deepen the EU emissions trading scheme, particularly in respect of aviation; and is it not the case that international agreements of that kind will have greater effect in reducing carbon emissions than proposed plans to restrict individual travellers?
Paddy Tipping: Turnaround teams are important, because they resolve the problem in the current financial year so that there are not even bigger projected problems in the next financial year, 2007-08. Is it not right that individual trusts live within their means so that other partners and NHS trusts are not disadvantaged?
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to consult on regulations under sections 54 and 56 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 on the extinguishment of public rights of way at the cut-off date.
Paddy Tipping: I congratulate the hon. Member for North Dorset (Mr. Walter) in three respects: first, on being lucky in the ballot; secondly, on the way in which he set the tone of the debate, allowing interventions and lively and thoughtful discussion; and thirdly, on keeping up his long-standing interest in constitutional affairs. Several years ago, the hon. Gentleman and I worked together on the...
Paddy Tipping: My hon. Friend makes a point that has already been talked about. The constitution is messy and it is not even. There will be inconsistencies. Part of the fundamental objection to the Bill is that it seems to want to clean up and categorise the constitution. I think that that is impossible. My hon. Friend gives an example of the way in which that would be difficult. While I am mentioning...
Paddy Tipping: That is absolutely right. Whichever party we represent, we want a Government who can command support and can get their business done. That is not the case across Europe. My hon. Friend's example puts the matter in a nutshell. I come back to the question of the House of Lords. If Members of this place were not allowed to vote and speak on certain issues—if we were to become a de facto...
Paddy Tipping: I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman. This Chamber should be the primary Chamber—it elects and throws out the Government: it controls expenditure; and it can use the Parliament Act. I shall make a wider and different point. Let us consider what would happen if there were two classes of Members of Parliament, and certain MPs could not vote and, in particular, speak on certain issues. If...
Paddy Tipping: My hon. Friend makes his point exactly. He knows, because he is more closely associated with the issue than me, about the discussions that take place about territorial responsibility for the River Tweed, in which the same kind of considerations apply because, as Lord Baker would put it, it is hard to define the English bit and the UK bit. Let us consider another example. A bit of a Bill...
Paddy Tipping: Given the way in which the Bill would take away voting and speaking rights from Members, would not a more appropriate name be the "House of Commons (Non-participation) Bill"?
Paddy Tipping: rose—
Paddy Tipping: The reason why my hon. Friends are rising to press the hon. Gentleman is that we want some policy commitments from the Conservatives. It would be helpful if the hon. Member for North-East Hertfordshire (Mr. Heald) would intervene to set out—
Paddy Tipping: rose—
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of increasing the discount on excise duty on biodiesel to (a) 25 pence and (b) 30 pence during the financial year 2007-08.
Paddy Tipping: In any discussions with the Commission, will the Secretary of State talk about not only penalties but the continued need to transfer payments to provide environmental benefits and create new jobs, new opportunities and new futures for rural communities?
Paddy Tipping: I congratulate the hon. and learned Member for Harborough (Mr. Garnier) on initiating this debate and on reminding the Minister of the number of east midland MPs who are here from all three political parties. We are all singing from the same hymn sheet and there are no divisions among us. We are making the same point because we have all been briefed over a long period by our own chief...
Paddy Tipping: The situation is even worse than the hon. Gentleman describes. Although the comprehensive spending review results have yet to be announced, the Home Office has already come to an agreement—a no-growth budget. That highlights the fear expressed by the hon. and learned Member for Harborough (Mr. Garnier) that if things do not change we could lose 800 police officers in the east midlands.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of local government expenditure was (a) met by Government grant and (b) raised locally during the last financial year for which figures are available.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress of the Discovering Lost Ways project.
Paddy Tipping: Does the Secretary of State accept that a key issue for the White Paper is introducing mechanisms to enable carbon to be traded at a high and stable price not just in the UK, but in Europe and, ultimately, globally?