asked the Minister of Power if he is aware that the proposed tax on oil used to make gas, suggested in the National Plan, would add approximately £19 million per year to the gas industry's costs and that this could result in a further reduction in the use of coal by the gas industry; and what steps he intends to take to obviate this danger.
No such tax is proposed at present. In reviewing the preferences accorded to the gas industry, as proposed in the White Paper on Fuel Policy, the considerations mentioned by my hon. Friend will be borne in mind along with others.
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the coal industry is already being hard hit and will be harder hit when the pit closures imminent take place? Will he bear this very much in mind when making his policy on this and related matters?