§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether he is considering measures to introduce further competition in the coal industry.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
In the Coal Industry Act 1990 the first steps were taken to liberalise the coal industry, through the raising of limits on the number of men who could be employed to work underground in licensed mines, and by increasing the tonnage limits on the size of licensed opencast sites. Further competition will be introduced when the Government privatise the coal industry after the next general election.