§ Mr. MacFarquhar
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the average price of a hundredweight of coal when it leaves the pit and when it reaches the consumer; and what is the cost of the various elements that account for the difference in the two prices.
§ Mr. Eadie
The present average pithead price of group 2 house coal is £1.42 a hundredweight. The final selling price also covers the costs of transport, handling and selling incurred by wholesalers and retailers. The report of the Price Commission on the distribution of domestic coal and solid smokeless fuel, published in 1976, showed that the final selling price of coal and smokeless fuels was, on average, some 70 per cent. higher than the pithead price, with wide variations between regions. This is still likely to be the case.