§ Mr. Grieve
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement on the impact of the vehicle fuel duties on the rural economy in Scotland. 
§ Mrs. Liddell
Vehicle fuel duty is only one of many factors that have an impact on Scotland's rural economy and needs to be seen in the context of overall UK fiscal policy. The measures announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his pre-Budget report to reduce fuel duties for cleaner fuels and vehicle excise duty will benefit all Scottish motorists and bring significant financial benefits to Scotland's economy. In particular, the abolition of Vehicle Excise Duty for Tractors and agricultural vehicles will benefit up to 20,000 agricultural producers in Scotland.
Independent research commissioned by my Department has shown that the level of taxation paid by private motorists in Scotland is lower than in other European countries such as Netherlands, Finland, Ireland and Portugal. The average Scottish driver pays £1,000 a year less than in Denmark.