§ Mr. Phillip Oppenheim
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement upon the future of the coal-firing scheme.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
Regrettably, the current industrial dispute in the coal industry has, I believe temporarily, affected confidence in making investment in new coal-fired boilers and the amount of money committed in grants under the coal firing scheme has not yet reached the scheme's £75 million ceiling. My Department will therefore continue to consider applications for coal firing grants made after 31 December 1984. The existing ceiling however remains unchanged. Exchange risk cover will also continue to be available on ECSC loans for conversion to coal from gas or oil. The Commission of the European Communities is being informed of these changes.