HC Deb 07 December 1992 vol 215 c495W
Mr. Michael Brown

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the per capita expenditure to be borne by the Exchequer, involved in redundancy payments for the closure proposals announced by British Coal in October; and to what extent such payments are subject to the approval of the EC.

Mr. Eggar

The British Coal redundancy terms give maximum payments of £37,000 per employee. The Exchequer funds 90 per cent. of such payments direct to the corporation through restructuring grant. Restructuring grant payments have European Community approval and are notified annually to the Commission.

Mr. Churchill

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will place in the Library a copy of the report by John T. Boyd, the American mining consultant, commissioned by his Department; how many of the 31 pits earmarked for closure by British Coal the report indicated could become viable within the next three to four years; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar

[holding answer 4 December 1992]:No. I have made arrangements for the report to be made available to the Select Committee in confidence. The Boyd report prepared for my Department earlier this year contains detailed information on individual pits which is commercially confidential. It did not assess the viability of individual collieries, but looked at the scope for productivity improvements and cost reductions in a group of representative collieries.