HC Deb 15 February 1989 vol 147 c210W
Mr. Adley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the level of state assistance per head of population in pound sterling for each of the European Economic Community countries towards the publicly owned railway system in each country.

Mr. Portillo

The most recent information available to my Department on the public subsidy levels of European Community railway systems is contained in the ninth Commission report on the transposed annual accounts of railway undertakings for 1985, [COM (88)739 final], a copy of which is in the Library of the House. There are substantial variations between countries in accounting systems including the writing off of debt and in the arrangements for financial support, and the figures contained in the report provide only a broad comparison. Other things being equal, the railway which is the most efficient will need the least grant.