asked the Secretary of State for Energy what assumption about the likely level of electricity price increases during 1985–86 was made in determining the external financing limit for the electrical supply industry for 1985–86.
First, Mr. Speaker, I say on behalf of the House how delighted we are to see you back with us.The EFL announced for the electricity supply industry was estimated to be consistent with an average price increase this year below the level of inflation.
Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that any extra cost in the production of electricity this year resulting from the coal strike will be borne out of general Government revenues and not passed on to electricity consumers?
Yes, Sir. The Government have announced that the EFL remains and that price increases remain as budgeted. Over the past few years there have been improvements, and before this year's rise electricity prices to consumers had fallen on average by 8 per cent. in real terms over the past two years.
Is my right hon. Friend aware, as is my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, that one part of the United Kingdom—the Isles of Scilly—will suffer a 14 per cent. increase in electricity charges this year unless the South Western electricity board changes its mind? Will my right hon. Friend consider electricity prices on the Isle of Scilly as my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State has been kind enough to do?
Whatever my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State considers, I consider with equal enthusiasm.