asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether assurances about Government financial support for the National Coal Board, as set out in his answer of 11 July 1983, Official Report, column 225, to the hon. Member for Tatton, will apply in similar terms to 1985–86.
One fundamental objective of the National Coal Board must be to earn a satisfactory return on its assets in real terms after the payment of social grants. To this end the board is planning to attain break-even on revenue account by 1987–88. In the short term, however, I can confirm that subject to Parliament's approving the necessary provisions, the Government will continue to make available funds to enable the NCB to meet its obligations as they fall due during the board's current financial year to 29 March 1986.