HC Deb 07 December 1943 vol 395 cc781-2
66. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether, in the pursuit of fuel economy, he will reduce the minimum annual charge for electricity?

Major Lloyd George

Yes, Sir. It will be remembered that on 19th September, 1942, I made an Order and General Direction whereby minimum charges to Electricity Consumers paying on the flat rate was not to exceed 25s. per annum. The first year of this arrangement has now expired and I have received many complaints that consumers who have practised rigid fuel economy have been presented by certain undertakings with bills for the difference between the sum of 25s. and the sum appropriate to the actual amount of electricity used during the year. This must inevitably act as a deterrent to fuel economy, the need for which is even more urgent now than it was a year ago. I have accordingly decided to make an amending Order, which will reduce the stun of 25s. fixed by the Order of 19th September, 1942, to 10s. per annum. The amending Order will be issued at an early date.

Mr. Keeling

While thanking the right hon. and gallant Gentleman for this useful reform, may I ask him whether it would not have been of advantage to the House to give the answer in seven words, "Yes, Sir, from 25 shillings to ten," instead of in 168 words?

Mr. Leach

Is the Minister aware that the same consideration also applies in the case of gas?

Major Lloyd George

No, Sir, it is not quite the same with gas as with electricity.