§ Mr. Bernie Grant
To ask the Prime Minister if he will propose an international scheme to make available oil at a substantially reduced price to the least developed states to assist them to restore the damage to their economies resulting from the Gulf war.
§ The Prime Minister
The United Kingdom has provided through the European Community some £60 million to Jordan, Turkey and Egypt, the states whose economies were most directly affected by the Gulf conflict. Given the size of our military role in the Gulf conflict we consider that the United Kingdom should not make a further financial contribution; the burden should be shared by others. We have however encouraged the IMF and the World bank to make additional resources available on concessional terms to the poorest countries most affected. The IMF has made specific arrangements to compensate countries affected by higher oil prices. Where the international community is providing such assistance, it will enable those countries to maintain imports of oil at market prices. We believe that providing oil at reduced prices would lead to economic distortions and a wasteful use of energy.