HC Deb 08 December 1980 vol 995 c616
13. Mr. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what has been the increase in labour productivity in the coal mining industry over the most recent 12-month period for which figures are available.

Mr. John Moore

At 2.43 tonnes, overall output per manshift in National Coal Board deep mines in the four-week period to 22 November 1980 was just over 2 per cent. above the level in the corresponding period in 1979.

Mr. Knox

Does my hon. Friend agree that, in current conditions, that is a very satisfactory increase? Does he expect output to continue to increase in that way over the next 12 months?

Mr. Moore

I entirely agree that it is very satisfactory and exactly on target. It confirms my earlier remarks that if that sort of achievement continues to be matched the miners and the Board will deserve respect.

Mr. Welsh

Is the Minister aware that for mining to continue to increase productivity it must have increasing investment? Will he therefore assure us that any increased expenditure for the National Coal Board resulting from the second Social Security Act will be over and above the borrowing powers allowed in the Coal Industry Act?

Mr. Moore

I shall obey your injunctions, Mr. Speaker, and try to answer one question. Increased productivity comes from many different factors. One must compliment it. However, I remind the hon. Gentleman that capital investment in the coal industry this financial year is in excess of £800 million, which is matched by the miners' excellent work in increasing productivity.

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