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Steel Industry

Volume 978: debated on Monday 11 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry, for the period 1973 to 1979, what is the relative effect on the price of steel of (a) the change in productivity in the period, and (b) the change in the valuation of sterling vis-à-vis Japan, Italy, France and the United States of America.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry which plants are to be closed by the British Steel Corporation; and what is (a) the estimated cost of closure, redundancy pay and maintenance in each case, (b) the production capacity for tonnage of each, (c) the variable costs, excluding overheads, of running each one per ton of steel produced and (d) the weighted average price per ton, at current prices, of output or full capacity.

The British Steel Corporation recently announced plans for the closure of its works at Consett and Hallside, and for substantial reductions in manned capacity at Scunthorpe, Llanwern and Port Talbot. Plans for the ending of iron and steel making at Shotton and Corby had previously been announced. Questions on operational and accounting matters at BSC works, and on the precise costs of closures, are for the BSC.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the cost of interest payments per employee in the British Steel Corporation.

Interest paid by BSC for 1979–80 is expected to be about £180 million. On the basis of an average number of employees, about £1,000 interest will be paid for every employee.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what increases in pay he discussed with the British Steel Corporation when fixing the new cash limits.