§ Mr. Grimond
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is to be done with the profits of the Gas Board, partly acquired by his directives on pricing.
§ Mr. Norman Lamont
The profits recently announced by the BGC were for the financial year 1979–80 where any surplus will be deposited with the National Loans Fund. For the future, the Government have set the British Gas Corporation a three year financial target but have not issued any directive on pricing.
I announced on 8 May the Government's intention in principle to impose a levy on the corporation in respect of gas purchased from the United Kingdom continental shelf and sold to the corporation under contracts not subject to petroleum revenue tax. The corporation's financial target will be modified to compensate for it and there will be no effect on gas prices during the three year target period.