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Orders of the Day — Utilities Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:23 pm on 31st January 2000.

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Photo of Michael Spicer Michael Spicer Conservative, West Worcestershire 6:23 pm, 31st January 2000

If we want genuine competition and transparency in electricity provision, full costs and marginal costs should be made properly transparent. If the requirement is to subsidise rural communities, that should be done through direct Government subventions in a way that does not distort the market. The Government's approach is wrong. When the previous Government privatised the bus industry, we made a clear distinction between economic costings and social subventions, which were made through financial means, and proper pricing, which should reflect costs and the marketplace. That is a manifestly sensible way to support the people whom one wants to support without distorting the market system.