§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of section 134 of the Finance Act 1982 on chemical companies which have little access to their own supplies of ethane; if he has any plans to change the provisions; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moore
Section 134 and schedule 18, Finance Act 1982, remove an anomaly in the previous rules for valuation of ethane for PRT by enabling ethane not sold at arms's length and used for petrochemical purposes to be valued by reference to a long-term price formula comparable to the formula which would be used in an arm's length sale. The anomaly, which, prior to the 1982 Act, prevented the use of such formulae, discriminated against companies with access to their own supplies of ethane, but did not affect companies without such access. Removal of the anomaly, therefore, introduced neutrality between those with and without access to their own supplies of ethane, and I have no plans to change section 134 and schedule 18.262W
since the public expenditure treatment of nationalised industries changed in 1976 to include external finance rather than total capital investment.
A total for expenditure is not provided because the disparities of definition between the series quoted are such that a total would be misleading.