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01 March, 2008

Political Sketch- More on Plastic Bags

Ok I know I have a thing about this plastic bag issue, I mean Gordon the gom is threatening to make new legislation if shops do not voluntarily stop giving out plastic bags.
This is surely a law too far even for this government.
I have to wonder what on earth he is thinking writing and saying this sort of thing on such a strange issue.

Luckily I have managed to get a small portion of the transcript of Hansards:-

Mr Speaker (MS) - The member for Croggington
Member for Croggington (MC)- Thank you, I wonder if the Prime Minister could tell the house when he thinks it will be right to withdraw our troops from being massacred for no reason in Afghanistan.
(general hurumph from the house)
MS - Order Order, The Prime Minister
P.M. - Today I have been attending meetings and in addition to my duties in the house will be seeking to draw up some more laws for the country.
MS - Prime minister we have done that bit would you like to address the issue raised but the right honorable member from Crogginton
PM - Yes, I have written to the Daily Mail and clearly shown that I see the issue of plastic bags as one of great importance to the global fight against climate change.
MC - Thank you PM but can you answer my question about Afghanistan.
PM - The issue is not about when we will withdraw from Afghanistan but rather when our troops do withdraw do they really want to come home to a country full of plastic bags. I suggest that the member for Crogginton would do better to go back and tell his constituents that the government supports M&S and will in due course force all stores to charge for plastic bags.
(General turmoil in the chamber)
MS- Prime Minister while I have to ask you to answer the question by the member from Croggington, I would like to ask one thing first. Does the PM see that charges for carrier bags will be reclaimable on expenses by members of this house and by members of their families in the due course of shopping of an official nature.
PM - Mr Speaker I can assure member of this house that any charges made for plastic carrier bags will of course be reclaimable on expenses in the same was as we propose to allow members to reclaim charges about to be implemented for rubbish collection.
MS - Thank you Prime Minister. Does the PM foresee that black bin bags will also be subject to the new carrier bag tax.
PM - In due course all plastic bags of whatever nature will be subject to this charge.
Alistair Darling - Prime Minister can you tell the house, well and me, is this new plastic bag tax to be subject to VAT and if so at what rate.
PM - In due course this new plastic bag tax will be subject to VAT at the standard rate.
MC - Prime minster, fascinating as plastic bags may be for you, could I ask you to return to the question of our troops in Afghanistan.
PM - I think that I have made my position on that matter clear, our troops want to return to a plastic bag free country.
Alistair Darling - Prime Minister I am confused, are you supporting a tax on plastic bags or their eradication.
PM - In due course I will be announcing a review of this matter.

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