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Orders of the Day — Electricity Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:36 pm on 13th December 1988.

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Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Energy) 9:36 pm, 13th December 1988

The CEGB's estimate is much higher—the hon. Gentleman is right to say that the figure is disputed. We take a rather modest figure.

Since the war—this matter is not disputed—the equivalent of £19 billion in today's money has been paid by the taxpayer to the coal industry. To say that the coal industry is being unfairly treated in these circumstances is bizarre.

The question has been raised as to why Scotland is being treated differently from England and Wales in the Bill. The answer in part is that the vast majority of the Bill covers Scotland, England and Wales identically. The differences apply where the nature and structure of the two industries are different. In England and Wales, nuclear accounts for only 16 per cent. of the electricity produced—