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Electricity Industry

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 26 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he has any plans to revise the external financing limit of the electricity industry in England and Wales for the current year.

The Electricity Council has sought an increase in its external financing limit to cover variations in the electricity industry's cash flow and its trading circumstances compared with the assumptions on which the limit was based. This is mainly due to the successful build up of fuel stocks which, in the increasingly uncertain world energy supply situation, the Government welcome.In these exceptional circumstances, and having satisfied myself that the industry has taken all reasonable steps to absorb these unforseen increases in its financing requirement, I have agreed to an increase in its external financing limit in the current year from (-)£68 million to (+)£232 million. This increase is partly met by prospective shortfalls in the financing requirements of other nationalised industries, and partly from the contingency reserve in the public expenditure plans; consequently it does not add to the public expenditure planning total.