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Electricity Charges

Volume 130: debated on Monday 28 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met representatives of (a) the Confederation of British Industry and (b) pensioners' organisations to discuss the proposed 9 per cent. increase in electricity charges; what is his latest estimate of the effects upon (i) the average costs of industry and (ii) the average costs of a pensioner couple living on the minimum state pension and supplementary benefit; and if he will make a statement.

I last met representatives from the CBI on 8 March and a pensioners' organisation on 15 December last year. The effect of the electricity tariff rises this April will be to increase industry's average costs by between one fifth and one eighth of 1 per cent; and to increase the average pensioner couple's household expenditure by about 35p a week.