Examination of Witnesses (Questions 500
WEDNESDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2001
HAIN, MP AND
500. I am suggesting you reduce the duty all
around in the United Kingdom, more in line with what it is in
the rest of Europe.
(Mr Timms) If you were to reduce the duty all round
then the receipts to the public purse from petrol duty would be
very greatly less.
501. Would that be a disaster? The Prime Minister
was telling us last year that we have the highest fuel taxes in
Europe because we need to fund our public services. How is it
that in France they have better public services and much lower
(Mr Timms) The overall rate of taxation in the United
Kingdom, of course, is substantially less than it is in France.
There is no point in suggesting we change one tax, we must look
at the overall picture, which is very different to the one that
Mr Chope is suggesting.
502. I think Mr Chope and yourself have succeeded
in confusing everybody else. Some might argue that if we had a
single currency then we would have greater transparency, but I
am not sure Mr Chope wants to go down that road. Can I thank you
both for your contributions. Mr Hain, you are staying with us,
but thank you, Mr Timms.
(Mr Timms) Thank you very much indeed, Chairman.