Results 41–60 of 800 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Alan Reid

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: As the hon. Gentleman well knows, the price of fuel was considerably lower at the time of this year's Budget than at the time of last year's Budget. Therefore, if this fuel stabiliser had been introduced last year, how much higher would the price of fuel at the pumps be now compared with the actual current price?

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: It was my calculation.

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: I beg to move amendment 5, page 10, line 39, at end insert— '(8A) After section 14F insert the following— "14G Remote rural fuel discount scheme (1) The Treasury shall by regulations provide for the introduction, by no later than 1 April 2010, of a remote rural fuel discount scheme. (2) The purpose of the scheme is to provide a rebate on road fuel duty at qualifying retail outlets in...

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to say that his constituents and mine pay more tax on our fuel than people in the rest of the country. The way to tackle that is through the proposal in our amendment for a rural fuel discount. People who live in remote rural areas suffer a triple whammy on their fuel. First, by necessity, they have to travel long distances. Secondly, the price of fuel...

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. The Treasury has certainly used that argument in relation to the mainland, although even Treasury Ministers have not tried to argue that that would be the case for the islands. I will describe later how that supposed pitfall can be overcome on the mainland. Clearly, no one would pay the extortionate fares charged by Caledonian MacBrayne to go to the...

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: The hon. Gentleman is tempting me, but he knows perfectly well that the Scottish Government treat my constituency much less fairly than his. However, I shall return to the subject of the debate before you intervene, Sir Michael. In remote areas, the car is an essential, not a luxury. Let us consider the purpose of the high fuel duty. One argument that the Government put forward is that it is...

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: Royal Mail is also removing two post bus services in my constituency, on the islands of Colonsay and Lismore, thus causing more difficulties for local people and visitors alike. To add insult to injury, as well as paying a higher price for their fuel, people pay more to the Exchequer in tax because the higher price means that VAT is higher as well. A basic principle of taxation is that it...

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: I am not sure whether my hon. Friend has been reading my speech over my shoulder, but I was about to make that very point. In the highlands and islands, incomes are much lower than in the rest of the country, but the Treasury is asking people there to spend far more on fuel and to pay more tax on it. Fuel represents a greater share of disposable income in the highlands and islands in the...

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: As my hon. Friend says, The Daily Telegraph clearly does not. That perhaps indicates that people based in London often do not understand the daily problems of life in the highlands and islands of Scotland. The fear has been expressed that someone might cross a border to get cheaper fuel.

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: The answer is zero. No one is going to take the ferry from Aberdeen to Orkney or Shetland to benefit from cheaper fuel. The same would clearly apply to any ferry journey. Even with the cheap ferry fares to the Western isles that people can pay now, it would not make sense for anyone to travel there for that reason, and certainly not in the case of the extortionate ferry fares that the...

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: My hon. Friend makes an important point. At the moment, tourists are often put off returning to remote rural areas. When they get there, often they express outrage at the cost of fuel and say that they will not come back, despite the beautiful scenery. As for the islands, there is no argument that the scheme could be defrauded.

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: The hon. Gentleman is right and I thank him for that intervention. The paper that my hon. Friend the Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross has written goes into such charging in detail and makes it clear that there must be a detailed audit trail to make sure that the discount is passed on to the motorist at the pump. As for the mainland, attempts to commit fraud there would be...

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: We have had an interesting debate—

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: The hon. Gentleman is right to point out that the debate has been concentrated in one particular corner of the Chamber—

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: I perhaps have a less combative style than my hon. Friend, but I share his sentiments. The Labour and Conservative parties have not come out of the debate well. My constituents and those of other hon. Members who represent the highlands and islands may be punished at the pumps, but come 4 June the Labour and Conservative candidates may well be punished at the ballot box for the approach that...

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: My hon. Friend makes an important point. The only good thing to come out of the debate was the acknowledgement from the Government that a problem exists. However, as my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland pointed out earlier, that acknowledgement was made more than a year ago in Treasury questions. I will at least acknowledge that the Government are sympathetic and that they...

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: I do not want to stray too far from the debate, but a brief response to that intervention is that my island constituents do not like the policies of the hon. Gentleman's Government in Edinburgh. They only benefit his constituency—

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: Other than Coll and Tiree, islanders are paying extortionately. We take no lessons from his party.

Bill Presented: Clause 16 — Rates and rebates from September 2009 (13 May 2009)

Alan Reid: My hon. Friend is quite right. The Conservative party certainly does not have much of a clue. I want to respond to the speech made by the hon. Member for South-West Hertfordshire (Mr. Gauke). I can assure him that by breakfast tomorrow he will be a household name in the highlands and islands. I certainly worry that one or two of my constituents might have a seizure when they read the local...


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