HC Deb 30 July 1980 vol 989 cc766-7W
Mr. John MacKay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has considered the representations made to him by the Electricity Consultative Council for the North of Scotland district concerning the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board's decision to reintroduce a diesel areas tariff surcharge; and whether he will direct the board to withdraw the surcharge.

Mr. Younger

Arising from the board's decision to reintroduce a differential tariff for consumers in the diesel areas with effect from 1 April the council asked me to declare that a defect was disclosed in the board's general plans and arrangements for exercising its functions and to direct the boad to rescind its decision. In particular, the council suggested that the differential tariff might constitute undue discrimination against consumers in the diesel areas, contrary to the requirements of section 22 (5) of the Electricity (Scotland) Act 1979. I am advised that the board's decision does not disclose any such defect and that the differential tariff does not constitute undue discrimination against diesel area consumers. In the absence of such a defect I have no powers to intervene in the fixing of particular tarffc, this being under the Act the responsibility of the board. I have therefore told the chairman of the consultative council that I cannot accede to the council's request.

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