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British Gas Corporation

Volume 984: debated on Thursday 8 May 1980

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why he decided not to impose a windfall profits tax on the future earnings of the British Gas Corporation; and if he will make a statement.

The Government have decided in principle to impose a levy on the British Gas Corporation in respect of gas purchased from the United Kingdom continental shelf, and sold to the corporation under contracts not subject to petroleum revenue tax (PRT). The corporation's financial target set for three years will be modified to compensate for it. The North Sea gas levy will therefore have no effect on gas prices during the target period.This will mean that some of the financial benefits which would otherwise accrue to the corporation will be permanently transferred to the benefit of the nation as a whole.Legislation will be required and this will be introduced as soon as possible.