asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when the Government propose to introduce the higher vehicle excise duty for heavy lorries proposed in paragraph 5.7 of Volume 1 of the Consultation Document "Transport Policy".
The Budget increase of 7½p per gallon on fuel duty has already imposed substantial extra tax on heavy lorries. Powers to obtain the information needed to restructure vehicle excise duty on lorries have been taken in the current Finance Bill.
As the Government's own document says that the lorries are not covering their full cost to the community, would not a further increase in duty be a good way of reducing the public sector borrowing requirement? Does he agree that we should not wait until next April to do that?
If the Minister wants heavy commercial vehicles to pay their full contribution to track costs, will he specify how he intends to make British Rail get its freight loss back into the black, because it is more heavily subsidised?