Mansfield MP blasts Government over coal industry ‘support’

Alan Meale MP  Who has been awarded a knighthood
Alan Meale MP Who has been awarded a knighthood

Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale has criticised the Government for its support for foreign coal production while UK coalmines continue to struggle.

Greenpeace recently revealed that the Government has supported overseas fossil fuel projects in recent years, while coalmines such as Thoresby are being wound down for closure later in the year.

Sir Alan said: “David Cameron has regularly, publicly decried fossil fuel subsidies and refused to sanction European aid to keep our pits open – despite monies coming from the European Commission and not the UK Treasury.

“In the four years since the Coalition Government came to power, we now find out that they have been supporting a range of overseas coal projects which have hit our exports and benefited foreign companies.

“In total the subsidies amount to approximately £1.7 billion worth of export credit underwritten by British taxpayers’ money, to producers such as the Russian coal company SUEK the largest in Russia, who then produced coal and exported it to the UK.

“As bad – at a time when our 3 remaining coalmines are being refused help, instead the Government has supported financial aid for German energy production.

“It’s all ridiculous nonsense and exposes how no help is being given to our coal industry.”

A delegation of MPs from the remaining coalfield areas, including Thoresby, will lobby MEPs in Brussels later this month.