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Departmental Plans

Volume 621: debated on Thursday 23 February 2017

14. What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on plans for his Department to be set out in the 2017 spring Budget. (908853)

I regularly meet the Chancellor, and plans for the spring Budget have been included in those discussions. At the autumn statement, my Department was allocated over £2 billion of additional funding as part of the wider national productivity investment fund. My focus is on making the best possible use of that funding for travellers and passengers across the country.

The collapse in the value of the pound has led to steep rises in fuel costs for motorists. Will the Secretary of State impress on the Chancellor the need to avoid any rise in fuel duty in the forthcoming Budget?

I am very proud that the Government, having inherited a fuel duty escalator from the Labour party, have been very good at keeping fuel duty down over the years. The hon. Gentleman will be aware that one current pressure is the rise in the oil price. I am certain that he will be confident that the Chancellor will keep this matter constantly under review, as the Government have demonstrated how important it is to be thoughtful about motorists when it comes to costs.

17. As my right hon. Friend knows, Brecon and Radnorshire is the most beautiful part of the country to visit. With the height of the tourism season fast approaching, will he push the lacklustre Welsh Labour Government to spend more money to provide improvements to link roads in mid-Wales, so that even more people can discover what my right hon. Friend already knows? (908857)

I have both visited my hon. Friend and holidayed in his constituency, so I know that it is indeed a lovely area and we encourage people from around United Kingdom to visit it on a regular basis. He will be aware of how important we regard the transport links to such areas. On the English side of the border, we will always seek to ensure the right connectivity is in place to support tourism. It is simply a shame that the Welsh Labour Government have proved so ineffective in such a wide variety of ways of working.