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Fuel Prices

Volume 974: debated on Thursday 29 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will circulate

Period*GasElectricityHeating Oils
17 October 1978–16 October 19798·09·046·4
* Periods are those used in the general index of retail prices from mid-January to mid-January unless otherwise stated.
† Derived from data used in compiling the general index of retail prices.
Information on basic weekly wage rates is available only for the combined gas, electricity and water sector and these figures are given in the following table. Corresponding figures for the mineral oil refining industry are not separately available
Percentage increase in Average Weekly Earnings* of Adult Male Manual Workers
Year (ending October)Basic Weekly Wage Rates*in Gas,Electricity and Water sectorMineral Oil RefiningElectricityGas
Third quarter 197811·2
Third quarter 1979
* Based upon the information for October in the year shown compared with the corresponding figures in the previous year.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will circulate in the Official Report a table comparing the increase in the wholesale price of oil fuel and of coal supplied to (a) power stations and (b) other consumers over the past 12 months with the corresponding figures for wage rates and basic earnings, excluding payment for productivity increases in the coal mining industry.

in the Official Report a table comparing the percentage increase in the price of domestic heating oils over the past 12 months and over the past seven years compared with the increase in the price of electricity and of gas supplied under the normal domestic tariffs; and how these increases compare with the increases in basic wage rates and basic earnings in each of the industries concerned.

Percentage increases in the prices of these fuels to domestic consumers over the most recent 12-month period for which figures are available and over the past seven years are as follows:within the coal, petroleum products sector. The 12-month per cent. increase in average weekly earnings of adult male manual workers in the three industries concerned are also shown in the following table.

The available information on power station fuel costs does not distinguish the individual fuels; on the overall basis of all fossil fuels consumed each month by the industry for the generation of electricity the price increase over the 12 months to October 1979 was 24 per cent.In the case of other consumers the wholesale price increases over the same period were 43 per cent, 27 per cent and 22 per cent. for burning oil, heavy fuel oil and coal respectively.The percentage increases in the basic weekly wage rates and in the average weekly earnings of male adult manual workers in the mining and quarrying sector between the third quarter 1978 and the third quarter 1979 were 10·8 per cent. and 16·7 per cent. respectively.The average weekly earnings information incorporates any productivity elements pertaining and the elements are not known separately. The basic wage rates relate to minimum entitlement and therefore do not include such productivity increases.