HC Deb 27 July 1979 vol 971 cc579-80W
Mr. George Grant

asked the Secretary of State for Energy, in the interests of strengthening the finances of the National Coal Board, if he will give consideration to amending the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act to enable the coal industry to market coal; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Moore

As stated in section 1(2) (c) of the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act, the functions of the National Coal Board include producing, manufacturing, treating, rendering saleable, supplying and selling products of coal". The Board therefore already has power to market coal. NCB (Ancillaries) Ltd is involved in solid fuel distribution through subsidiaries and partnerships.

the discount at a total cost of £14.77 million. The discount has averaged £7.73. The equivalent figures for the same period of 1978 when recipients of rate or rent rebate or rent allowance were not eligible for the discount were 0.61 million, £4.50 million and £7.30. These data do not include Scotland for which detailed 1979 figures are not yet available.

Mr. Cartwright

asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many electricity consumers have claimed discounts in each board area at the most recent convenient date compared with the figures for the corresponding period of 1978.

Mr. Norman Lamont

The following is the information at end June: