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British Steel Corporation

Volume 15: debated on Monday 14 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the present total of redundancy money paid out to former employees of the British Steel Corporation; what is his estimate of the total that will be reached by 31 December 1981; and what are the criteria by which redundancy pay levels are fixed.

I understand from the BSC that the corporation's expenditure of closures and redundancies for the half-year to September 1981 was £98 million. No estimate of the amount to be paid to December 1981 is available, but the latest estimate of such payments for the full year ending March 1982 is £209 million. The criteria by which non-statutory redundancy payments are determined are matters for the corporation.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) whether he is satisfied that, given the higher rate of utilisation of capacity within the British Steel Corporation, the corporation will be fully capable of meeting the demand for steel which would arise if the Government were to proceed with the development of the BR-SNCF project for a cross-Channel link; and if he is additionally satisfied that, if a contract were to be awarded for this particular development, existing United Kingdom or overseas customers of the British Steel Corporation would be fully protected against either refusals to supply or inability to supply by the British Steel Corporation;(2) whether in the event of the award of a contract for the construction of a Channel link, be it the CTD 81 project, the BR-SNCF proposal or Euroroute, he will take steps to ensure that the iron and steel requirements will not be met by additional imports and that additional demands placed on United Kingdom iron and steel producers will not lead to additional imports to secure continuity in the supply of iron and steel products for existing customers of either the British Steel Corporation or its private sector United Kingdom competitors;(3) whether he is satisfied that, given the higher rate of utilisation of capacity within the British Steel Corporation, the corporation will be fully capable of meeting the demand for steel which would arise if the Government were to proceed with the development of the CTD 81 project for a cross-Channel link; and if he is additionally satisfied that if a contract were to be awarded for this particular development, existing United Kingdom or overseas customers of the British Steel Corporation would be fully protected against either refusals to supply or inability to supply by the British Steel Corporation;(4) whether he is satisfied that, given the higher rate of utilisation of capacity within the British Steel Corporation, the corporation will be fully capable of meeting the demand for steel which would arise if the Government were to proceed with the development of Euroroute for a cross-Channel link; and if he is additionally satisfied that if a contract were to be awarded for this particular development, existing United Kingdom or overseas customers of the British Steel Corporation would be fully protected against either refusals to supply or inability to supply by the British Steel Corporation.

Each of the various schemes which are under consideraton for a fixed Channel link would take about five years to construct. Current estimates of the annual requirement for steel from United Kingdom sources for each scheme range from 3,500 to 100,000 tonnes depending on the size of the project and the steel-intensity of the construction technique. Tonnages of this order

Production and Exports of Cars in certain major countries
Units: Numbers in '000ss
19791980January to June 1981
ProductionExportsProductionExportsProductionExports
United Kingdom1,070410924359491†l61
West Germany3,9332,2833,5212,1081,823943
France3,2201,5352,9391,3731,365739
Italy1,4816471,445511758232
Spain9664241,029492451231
USA8,4347936,3766173,572*147
Canada988651847613465
Japan6,1763,1027,0383,9473,5522,128
* January to March.
† United Kingdom manufacturers' export allocation of production.
‡ Not available.

Note: Figures of exports of cars for USA and Canada are also published on a basis which excludes exports to Canada and USA, respectively. The USA figures shown above include exports to Canada of 601,000 units in 1979, 510,000 units in 1980 and 123,000 units in January to March 1981. The Canadian figures include exports to USA of 590,000 units in 1979 and 550,000 units in 1980.

Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.