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Private Pleasure Craft

Volume 455: debated on Monday 15 January 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has undertaken of the compliance costs of ensuring that owners of private pleasure craft will only use rebated fuels for diesel-powered heating and lighting and not for navigability following the ending of that derogation; (114122)

(2) what estimate he has made of additional costs arising out of the loss of the derogation for the use of fuel used by private pleasure craft;

(3) what way the UK Government cast their vote in the 2006 Communication from the Council of Ministers on the issue of whether there should be any continuation of the derogation of fuel used by private pleasure craft under Article 19(1), third indent, of the Energy Tax Directive;

(4) for what reason the continuing derogation of fuel used by private pleasure craft is an instrument of regional policy;

(5) what assistance the Treasury will give the owners of private pleasure craft to meet the compliance costs involved in the loss of the fuel tax derogation.

The UK made an application to the Commission which made the strongest possible case for renewal of this derogation. However, the Communication of 8 December 2006 (reference 16528/06 (Com(2006)743)), on the operation of private pleasure craft, confirmed that the Commission would not be submitting a proposal to the council for renewal of the derogation permitting the use of red diesel. The question of a vote on the issue did not therefore arise. The UK’s position, including its assessment of the implications for regional policy, is set out in its application to the Commission for renewal of the derogation, and the Government’s estimate of compliance and other costs is set out in the partial RIA published in March 2006. Both documents have been deposited in the Library of the House of Commons. Officials are in discussions with concerned and affected organisations to discuss how the new arrangements can be administered so as to minimise the compliance costs to businesses and individuals.