Colin Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth of 16 October 2019, Official Report column 498, what progress the Government has made on reviewing the use of anaerobic digesters and the sustainable sourcing of biofuels.
Colin Clark: We recently went for two weeks without using coal in our electricity mix, largely due to the use of lower greenhouse gas-emitting natural gas. Does my hon. Friend remain committed to the North sea oil and gas industry, which supports 120,000 jobs in Scotland and 280,000 across the United Kingdom as a whole?
Colin Clark: As a member of the Treasury Committee, I was glad to get into what is a vital issue in Scotland and rural parts of the country, which are being left with no banks because they are closing. One of our recommendations is that post offices should be properly funded and have proper facilities, so that people can use them as banking hubs, but the banks—not the taxpayer or the Post...
Colin Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the cost to his Department has been of the Renewable Heat Incentive, and what assessment he has made of the value for money of that incentive.
Colin Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the key obstacles to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Colin Clark: Along with Scottish colleagues, I was pleased to welcome the Prime Minister to Aberdeen on Friday. The Prime Minister will be aware that the SNP Scottish Government want to postpone devolved VAT powers and delay social security powers, and have U-turned on the air departure tax. Does the Prime Minister agree that it is time for new leadership in Scotland? It is time for Ruth Davidson in Bute...
Colin Clark: Can the rail Minister assure me and the House that he will continue to ensure good value for money for taxpayers and for passengers, unlike Labour, which allowed fare rises of 13% during its time in government? I was once a resident of the east of England and therefore used the rails.
Colin Clark: On that point about fossil fuels, does the right hon. Gentleman recognise what natural gas has done to decarbonise this country, reducing our levels to levels not seen since 1888? Does he also recognise that 280,000 jobs are supported by the oil and gas industry? Is he concerned about those 280,000 jobs?
Colin Clark: May I associate myself with the words of those on the Front Benches? To ensure that the British summer appetite for strawberries and Scottish raspberries is fulfilled, will my right hon. Friend encourage the Home Office to extend the seasonal agricultural workers scheme from 2,500 to 10,000 this year and to open it up to between 30,000 and 40,000 next year?
Colin Clark: It is imperative to reduce greenhouse gases, and the replacement of coal by natural gas has vastly reduced such gases. Does the Minister agree that we should back a responsible UK oil and gas sector, and not offshore our climate change responsibility?
Colin Clark: The Minister is generous in giving way. In my constituency, 140 people are affected, largely in the oil and gas sector. Oil and gas employers encouraged people to enter these schemes. Does the Minister agree that companies in that sector should be held to account, as should employers and the people who sold the schemes?
Colin Clark: Aberdeen International airport is essential to the engine room of the Scottish economy, the oil and gas capital of the UK. There has been a serious reduction in the number of flights, which is inconveniencing the business community, leisure travellers and six MPs, including several who sit across the Floor. Will my right hon. Friend consider finding time for a debate on regional connectivity?
Colin Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that large companies issue payments to contractors within reasonable times.
Colin Clark: It is very kind of the right hon. Gentleman to give way. Does he agree with the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, the National Farmers Union, Scotland, the Scottish CBI and the Federation of Small Businesses that what is important today is that Scottish MPs, and all the MPs of the United Kingdom, vote for jobs and businesses in their constituencies? Voting against the motion makes no deal...
Colin Clark: I am glad to rise to support my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. I serve on the Treasury Committee, and it is a pleasure to follow my right hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough (Sir Edward Leigh), who is so optimistic. I am also glad to follow the hon. Member for Glasgow Central (Alison Thewliss), who always speaks from the heart. Do Labour Members and SNP Members...
Colin Clark: I do not agree with that, actually. The Treasury Committee has discussed the fact that the UK has the highest employment growth in Europe, which is an inexplicable miracle. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, could not explain why it is happening. This country is a jobs miracle because this Government believe in private enterprise. Opposition Members do not believe in private...
Colin Clark: We are the party of optimism and, on the subject of optimism, I will let a pessimist speak up.
Colin Clark: That is the difference between the hon. Gentleman and me, because I consider the fact there are food banks to support people to be an example of charitableness. I want to celebrate the success of this country, not the failure, and it is the Conservative party that will make sure this country is a success.
Colin Clark: I will finish, because we are running out of time. We are the party of opportunity, and they are the parties that would destroy opportunity. We are the party that wants to support everyone in society and give people a hand up, and they are the parties that would crush people with taxation. It is interesting that the hon. Member for Glasgow Central mentioned the OBR and taxation, because it...
Colin Clark: Will the Prime Minister welcome Oil & Gas UK’s report today predicting £200 billion of new investment in the sector, supported by this Government’s fiscal policy in direct contrast to the SNP’s failure to stimulate the Scottish economy?