asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what is the average increase for domestic user in the current electricity account, as compared with the price at the previous tariff for consumers in the City of Glasgow; and what part of the average increase is due to the surcharge.
The fixing of prices for electricity in Glasgow is a matter for the South-West Scotland Electricity Board and detailed information about accounts is not in my hands. I understand the Chairman of the Board informed a deputation of the Glasgow Corporation that in the case of over 80 percent. of the domestic quarterly accounts issued in Glasgow up to the middle of February there has been a total increase of less than £1. It was further stated that a check of about 70,000 accounts showed that the average increase was 18s. 3d. of which 10s. 6d. is in respect of the winter surcharge. Over the nine months, following the surcharge period, these consumers will of course be entitled to a rebate of 0.1d. per unit.
In view of the fact that the surcharge is falling much more heavily on the consumer than the increased price, will not my hon. Friend agree that the question of this surcharge might be considered again in order to abolish it for this area?
No, I do not think so. If there is hardship occasioned to people served in Glasgow, it will be met by the representations made to the Board. We asked them to do something about making arrangements for the payment of accounts by instalments. This the Board have agreed to do, and consumers are able to take advantage of that.