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View from Westminster - June 28, 2012
3:30pm Wednesday 27th June 2012 in MP's View - Mark Garnier
THE big news from Westminster this week is the removal of the planned fuel duty increase of 3p per litre.
This rise was due to come in this summer, and was a measure that was introduced in a budget under the previous government under a long-term planned rate of fuel duty rises.
Under all the budgets since the election, it has been included as an important increase in revenue.
Fuel duty raises for the government about £1.5 billion for every penny of duty, so the cost of this reversal is around £4.5 billion. To pay for this, savings will have to be found elsewhere, or it will need to be borrowed.
But what this does demonstrate is the commitment of the government to look hard at these issues and to weigh up carefully the impact that a rise in fuel prices will have.
This is especially important for a semi-rural community such as Wyre Forest where people rely more on their cars than would otherwise be the case if they lived in a city, so its impact is more marked here than elsewhere.
Back home in Wyre Forest, the proposals of the Acute Hospitals Trust and their joint strategic review is being digested by us all.
By now, most people will be aware that there is a potential threat to Kidderminster hospital and the hard-fought-for services that have come back after the downscaling all those years ago.
I have met with the leaders of elected political parties in Wyre Forest and we are all committed to a course of action that sees no services lost to Kidderminster.
I plan to meet many other groups as well, and to go to the public event on the Saturday. But I am also keen that people get in touch with me with their views.
I have had some messages, but fewer than I would have expected. It may be early days, but I am incredibly grateful to people who take the trouble of emailing or writing so I can put forward the views of the local community.
It is right that the provision of healthcare is reviewed from time to time, but it is also important that as the MP, I can take the temperature of public opinion locally and feed that into the review process.
CONTACT YOUR MP
Email: mark.garnier.mp@ parliament.uk.
Telephone: 020 7219 7198 or 01562 746771.
Write: 9a Lower Mill Street, Kidderminster, DY11 6UU, or House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA.