HC Deb 14 July 1980 vol 988 cc416-7W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions during the past six months the Treasury has relaxed cash limits to accommodate State industries; and what was the total additional cost involved.

Mr. Biffen

On only one occasion in the past six months has the external financing limit of a nationalised industry been adjusted. On 26 March—[Vol. 980, c. 615]—my center hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy announced a £300 million increase in the electricity supply industry's external financing limit from—£68 million to +£232 million. The announcement by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Energy on 6 February—[Vol. 978, c. 233–34]—that the cash limit on his Department's industrial support vote would be increased to take account of increased grants to the National Coal Board did not involve an increase in the board's external financing limit nor, therefore, any increase in the planned total of public expenditure.