Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Eighth Report

Annex O


Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

from Mr Robert Syms MP

I have read the section of the Report that refers to me and I think it is fair except for paragraph 21 when you assert that there is a strong case for declaration, namely on the level of taxation on, and investment in the roads system.

When I last met Roger Willoughby, the then Registrar of Interests, in December 1999 to discuss appropriate times to declare an interest I thought we had agreed that some issues were so general as to affect all MPs and that on those occasions either all MPs would have to declare or none. For example income tax, some pay more, some less, but all MPs are affected, the same is true with fuel tax as, with the exception of a few non-drivers, well over 600 members have an interest in the level of fuel taxation. I also think that nearly all Members have an interest in the roads system.

Therefore, if you believe that I should be making a declaration on general road and taxation matters due to the fact that my family business owns two HGV vehicles, then I will also be expecting that all other Members do the same. On re-reading my speech of the 27 March 2000 I still think my comments on roads and transport were in very general terms.

1 May 2001

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