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British Coal

Volume 164: debated on Monday 18 December 1989

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26.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how much the Government have invested in British Coal since 1979.

40.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy how much the Government have invested in British Coal since 1979.

Since 1979 the Government have financed over £6·5 billion of new investment in the coal industry and continue to invest at a rate of over £2 million every working day.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy on how many occasions in the past 10 years the auditors of British Coal or the National Coal Board have drawn his attention to inadequacies in their accounts.

In each of the years 1979–80 to 1988–89 there has been a qualification of the accounts of British Coal by their auditors.British Coal's accounts have been qualified by its Auditors from 1983–84 to 1988–89 owing to the uncertainty over the recoverability out of future earnings of the total net book amount of the corporation's tangible fixed assets. British Coal's accounts were also qualified from 1983–84 to 1986–87 owing to the uncertainty over the amount of liability arising from future claims for surface damage; and from 1979–80 to 1983–84 over provision for liabilities under the mineworkers' pension scheme and the voluntary early retirement scheme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of British Coal; and what matters were discussed.

I meet the chairman of the British Coal Corporation regularly to discuss all aspects of the coal industry.

57.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his most up-to-date estimate of the manpower employed by British Coal over the next three years.

It is not possible to predict manpower requirements over future years since this will depend on the performance of individual collieries and the success British Coal has in meeting the requirements of its customers. Manpower requirements are however, a matter for British Coal and I have asked the chairman to write to the hon. Member.

36.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he next proposes to meet the chairman of British Coal; and what matters will be discussed.

65.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of British Coal; and what matters were discussed.

I meet the chairman of British Coal regularly to discuss all aspects of the coal industry.