§ Mr. Paterson
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what impact the increases on fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty have had on the economy of rural Wales 
§ Mr. Paul Murphy
In this year's Budget, the Government gave a commitment to ending the fuel duty escalator and that there would be no increase in fuel duty, beyond the automatic increase in line with inflation. Fuel duty revenues go straight into a ring-fenced fund for improving public transport and modernising the road network. Wales is allocated a percentage of such moneys on the basis of the spending rules, but it is for the National692W Assembly to determine whether the money is spent on transport or on other priorities. Our Budget plans for next year promise an abolition of vehicle excise duty (VED) on agricultural machines which will benefit owners of up to 15,000 such machines in Wales, currently paying £40.