HC Deb 16 May 1988 vol 133 cc361-2W
Mr. McTaggart

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the annual subsidy for rail services in each of the last five years for (a) the United Kingdom, (b) France, (c) Germany, (d) Italy, (e) Holland and (f) Denmark.

Mr. David Mitchell

Figures for Government support for British Rail since 1983 are given below. The figures include grant in compensation for the public service obligation under EEC Regulation 1191/69 and section 3 of the Railways Act 1974, and level crossings grant under EEC Regulation 1192/69.

£ million
1983 873.0
1984–85 1,088.9
1985–86 839.7
1986–87 733.4
1987–88 815.6

1984–85 is a 15-month period reflecting a change in the British Railways Board financial year. The figures for 1985–86, 1986–87 and 1987–88 remain provisional; final claims have not been agreed. All figures are cash.

The most recent information available to the Department on the revenues, costs and public subsidy levels of the European Community's railway systems is contained in the eighth Commission report on the transposed annual accounts of railway undertakings for 1984 (COM(87)311 final). A copy of this and of the transposed annual accounts for 1983 (COM(86)353 final) are in the Library of the House. There are substantial variations between countries in accounting systems and in the arrangements for financial support, so the figures contained in the report only provide a broad comparison.