HC Deb 17 April 1970 vol 799 cc305-6W
Mr. Ogden

asked the Minister of Technology what is his estimate of Government financial aid to the National Coal Board in 1960 and in each year from 1962 to 1970, inclusive.

Mr. Alan Williams

No Government financial aid was given to the National Coal Board prior to 1965–66. The total assistance given since then under the provisions of the Coal Industry Acts of 1965 and 1967 has been as follows:

£ million
Exchequer payments 1965 Capital Reconstruction: estimated benefit accruing to N.C.B.
1965–66 25
1966–67 1.3 274½
1967–68 7.8 35
1968–69 29.0 35
1969–70 20.5 35

The payments shown in the table are not a true measure of total Exchequer commitments, e.g:

  1. (i) there is a substantial carry-over of payments from one year to the next, as certification of costs can take some time;
  2. (ii) Exchequer liabilities under the Redundant Mineworkers' Scheme may continue for up to three years from the date a mineworker becomes redundant; consequently substantial payments will continue to be made in the three years after 1969–70. Also, the level of benefits paid out in the earlier part of the three year benefit period is much lower than in the later part when entitlement to State benefits has been exhausted.

In addition the coal industry has been assisted by measures such as the fuel oil tax (currently 2.4d. a gallon), the ban on coal imports and the general ban on conversions of power station.