Skip to main content


Volume 974: debated on Thursday 29 November 1979

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the Government subsidy per ton of coal produced in each of the EEC countries, including the United Kingdom.

For Belgium and France, whose production costs are exceptionally high and who are running down their coal industries, the aid to current production in 1978, the latest published figures available—Commission report R/2146/78—was £24·06 and £14·70 per tonne respectively. For West Germany, also with high production costs, the published figure was £5·78 but this excludes aid for coal sales provided through a levy paid by electricity consumers, and coking coal production aid paid in the fourth quarter.For the United Kingdom the direct aid to coal production was £0·96/tonne in 1978–79. The NCB—like the coal undertakings—also received other aid not related to current production. In addition, in the United Kingdom some payments are made through the general social security system which I understand in other countries are attributed directly to their coal industries.