Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Fuel duty may be lower but pump prices still high (From This Is Wiltshire)
Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Fuel duty may be lower but pump prices still high
12:00pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in Latest News
Ahead of the annual Budget which, as I write, the Chancellor is about to announce, I made clear to Ministers at Treasury Questions in Parliament how Wiltshire’s rural residents still worry about planned fuel duty rises.
I asked what assessment they had made of the impact of alcohol duty and fuel duty on people’s household budgets. From April, fuel duty under this Government will be 13p a litre lower than if the previous government’s budget plans had been implemented, but prices are still high at the pump.
I asked the Minister for Disabled People about help for families who have disabled children in need of an additional room facing a reduction in housing benefit under the Government’s welfare reforms.
I was pleased to hear the Minister announce a change so that families in this situation will not lose out.
I pursued campaigns to tackle avoidable hunger around the world by asking the International Develop-ment Secretary to include ‘food for fuel’ on the agenda for the G8 food summit, which Britain is chairing in June. She promised that food and nutrition will be on the agenda.
Outside of the Commons chamber, I joined Devizes MP, Claire Perry, and local campaigners in Westminster to make the case for extending rail electrification south of Chippenham and west of Newbury to the consultants who the Department of Transport have asked to look into it.
I also had an encouraging meeting with the Rural Economy Minister, during which I asked him to advance the Swindon & Wiltshire City Deal negotiations, which promise to give our local economy a significant boost.
Back in Wiltshire, I took the opportunity to go door-knocking with local councillors in Bradford on Avon and Melksham. The rain didn’t get in the way of me hearing my constituents’ views on a wide range of subjects, from press regulation to human rights and Europe.
I also met businesses, co-operatives and campaigners at the Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon Eco Fair in St Margaret’s Hall, which gives evidence of jobs created by action to protect the environment and lower our energy bills.
After a busy surgery at the Pounds Arts Centre in Corsham, my next surgery will be at my constituency office in Avonbridge House, Bath Road, Chippenham, on Saturday from 10-11.30am, and on Wednesday, from 6-7.30pm.