Energy Review

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 25th June 1998.

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Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 3:30 pm, 25th June 1998

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for welcoming some issues, although slightly surprised that, having welcomed a number of proposals, he said that there was nothing in the statement—he managed to find at least three things. He suggested that there was no clear overall policy. I said repeatedly throughout the statement that Government policy is to obtain diverse, secure and sustainable energy supplies at competitive prices. That is very much our underlying approach.

The hon. Gentleman asked me to say more about the detail of coal communities support. I do not share the view that he seems to take about the extent to which such support is likely to be needed, but he will appreciate that, if a regeneration scheme in the coalfields is required, that would be a matter for my colleagues at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. It is not a matter to which I would be referring today.

The hon. Gentleman also asked me about proposals for, among other things, fuel efficiency. Again, those issues are addressed elsewhere, but we have issued proposals on such matters in, for example, our Green Paper on utility regulation. As I said, we are increasing support for renewables.