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Petrol Allowance (Employees, Birmingham Region)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 23 March 1943

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power why petrol allowances for motor-cars of salaried employees in the Birmingham region are limited to 50 return journeys during a three-months period, whereas no similar restriction applies to motor-cars of weekly-paid employees?

It was considered that, as salaried classes came and went at more regular times, they could take greater advantage of public means of transport than wage-earners employed on a shift basis. I am, however, anxious to avoid any discrimination, and am quite prepared to have each case, where hardship is suggested, examined on its merits.

Is it not a fact that in other districts as well we have the ridiculous system prevailing by which any manual worker has a right to as much petrol as he likes to get home, whereas the manager, who is bearing a load 20 times as big as the worker and has to be there Sundays and week-ends as well, has to go on his hands and knees to beg sufficient petrol?

What evidence has my right hon. and gallant Friend obtained in order to make this discrimination?

It was considered at the time that for obvious reasons if you are going back to home at more regular times, you can make use of public transport more readily. That was the assumption, which is not an unreasonable one, but I am prepared, as I said, to consider all cases where there is hardship.

Will the Minister give an assurance of an equal right for those who are in responsible positions?