That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Bill, it is expedient to authorise any incidental or consequential charges to tax which may arise from provisions restating, with minor changes, certain enactments relating to income tax on trading income, property income, savings and investment income and certain other income.[Paul Clark.]
Jane Griffiths (Reading, East) (Lab): I am pleased to have been asked by the organisation Carers Unite to present a petition on its behalf to Parliament. It contains the signatures of 4,876 people and states:
Declares that carers do not cease caring at retirement age yet lose their carers allowance at the age of 60. This may lead to hardship to people who have spent up to 30 or 40 years caring. The petitioners further declare that carers lose the opportunity for a career and the possibility of earning significant amounts of money. The petitioners also declare that carers in the UK save the Government £57 billion per annum.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to bring in legislation to increase the invalid care allowance to a minimum of £65 and ensure that all carers are entitled to the carers premium regardless of whether they are on income support.
Mr. Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland) (LD): I am pleased to have secured this Adjournment debate on what is, from my constituency perspective, a very important topic. In the course of the next half hour, we will bandy around a lot of talk about renewable and sustainable energy. From the point of view of my health tonight, this has taken on a more personal nature than I anticipated when I applied for the debate.
Much has been said about the emergence of the hydrogen economy. That term describes the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel or energy carrier, typically into three main applications: first, as a replacement for petrol or diesel for powering vehicles; secondly, in a stationary fuel cell to provide electricity for buildings or remote power applications; and, thirdly, for portable power applications, where the fuel cell provides an alternative power source to batteries for laptop computers or mobile phones.
One of the attractions of hydrogen as an energy carrier to the oil and automotive industries is that it can be produced from nuclear power and renewable sources through electrolysis or from hydrocarbons through reformation. The obvious synergy with the existing oil and gas industries makes the concept of a hydrogen economy compatible with all existing and emerging forms of energy production and applications, from nuclear and hydrocarbons to renewables.
The Promoting Unst Renewable EnergyPUREproject in Shetland in my constituency uses renewable energy to produce hydrogen by electrolysis to provide a direct fossil fuel substitute. It has shown that it is technically possible to produce the island's energy needs locally, without any carbon emissions, and for the local community to own that means of production. That is why there is a growing sense of excitement in communities such as Shetland about the potential for others from the development of hydrogen technology. It has the potential to revolutionise and empower some of our most economically fragile and peripheral communities.
When the draft report on hydrogen technology in the United Kingdom was presented in January 2004, the point was made that energy security is regarded as an even greater political priority than the reduction of carbon emissions and the production of clean energy. The report highlighted several weaknesses in the Government's approach. Interviews with 14 senior civil servants involved in hydrogen policy revealed a need for a
Although it is acknowledged that hydrogen technology cuts across many Departments, it was also stated that there was no clear framework for leadership
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and communication. Officials admitted that there was no champion Department for hydrogen and that they did not know what other Departments were doing. They also acknowledged that there are too many funding streams with not enough resources and that there is no single point of contact for external stakeholders.
Does the hon. Gentleman agree that many companies that are involved in such technology argue that the Government require a clear strategy for deployment? Although a massive amount of research is taking place elsewhere in the world, especially in the United States, the opportunity that rural Scotland offers, with massive energy resources but an inability to get them to the point of use, could be addressed by a Government strategy on deployment.