§ Mr. Eastham
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what consideration has been given by Her Majesty's Government to the effects on high energy users in the engineering foundry industry of the recently announced higher gas and electricity charges.
§ Mr. Goodlad
No announcements have yet been made about specific higher gas or electricity charges.
The Government are well aware that the engineering industry, and United Kingdom industry as a whole, is concerned to maintain and enhance its competitiveness. There has been no significant increase in electricity prices to industry since 1982, and the quarterly increases in contract renewal gas prices introduced by British Gas from April follow a two-year price freeze. The available evidence, including the last CBI survey of European industrial energy prices, suggests that in general United Kingdom electricity and gas prices to industry compare well with those elsewhere in Europe.