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The Last One

orraloonorraloon Posts: 9,927
edited January 2016 in The cake stop
Kellingley pit, the last working deep mine in the UK, closes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-35124077

The 450 miners are to get a pay off of 12 weeks average wages. Merry Christmas.

For perspective, the ex Chelsea manager gets 250k per week up to 10M, depending on which newspaper headline one reads.

All's well in the world, carry on.
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Posts

  • Some would argue football is more important.

    Seriously, coal fired power stations are the main users of coal. They can buy cheaper on global markets. Also there's been a gradual closing of such power stations in favour of gas and other slightly cleaner generation. With the recent announcement for UK to close all coal powered stations I think this was inevitable. You can't keep dead or dying industries going for sentimental reasons.

    Having said that, announcing it before Xmas is always harsh. I've worked for companies that have needed to shed staff around Xmas before. They try to put it off until the new year but that's not always possible. It always left a bad feeling among those left with jobs but those who lost their jobs were always the ones we thought of.
  • the miners have paid a very heavy price for daring to bring down the tory government.

    i know the free marketeers will say, but as with the 1000's of steel worker jobs gone, how much does this cost in the long run? the benefits claimed and loss to the economy and would nt it be cheaper to keep these industries going, as other eu countries seem to be able to do? in this 2 instances, cheaper energy costs and subsidised coal prices? esp as gov has scrapped a lot of its green polices and clean (er) carbon capture energy provision.
  • Coal is a dirty fuel that could only work with carbon capture and storage. This technology is not there yet as a viable industrial process. UK ceased the current scheme to develop it on the grounds it was a poor scheme/poorly planned project that was not cost effective. Our isn't ruled out as a technology just a that the government is looking at other ways to bring carbon capture about. The current thinking is it's too big for single governments to develop so multi-national funding and research is believed to be the best way forward. IIRC there's no single government financing their own research and development program in this technology.

    So you have a dirty fuel that requires a new technology that's not been developed in a climate (excuse the pun) of international agreement to reduce carbon emissions. Hmmm! Let's see how protectionism of the coal industry fits in with that. Oh, did you hear the UK announcement that it was going to be the first to shut down all their coal powered stations?

    Realism has to kick in somewhere with the left's romanticism of the working class kings that work in mining. BTW I did a mining related degree which would have resulted in a coal mining job if it had been as big seen industry as early 80s. Graduates in my field worked mostly for coal, quarrying or went overseas for more interesting mining jobs such as in the Zambian copper belt. The lack of a coal industry the size it once was really changed my career path so I too have a bit of the sentimental over the demise of coal in the UK.

    PS if you want to ask the question how others protect their coal industry and we can't then perhaps one way is down to their acceptance of higher carbon emissions. Or perhaps they don't have any restrictions from trading blocks/ political unions. Or perhaps they have no other viable option. Does that mean we should follow their example or lead the way in reducing carbon emissions? Well perhaps we're not quite leading the way but we're not that far behind those who are I think.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,340
    the miners have paid a very heavy price for daring to bring down the tory government.

    i know the free marketeers will say, but as with the 1000's of steel worker jobs gone, how much does this cost in the long run? the benefits claimed and loss to the economy and would nt it be cheaper to keep these industries going, as other eu countries seem to be able to do? in this 2 instances, cheaper energy costs and subsidised coal prices? esp as gov has scrapped a lot of its green polices and clean (er) carbon capture energy provision.
    Except that they didn't bring down any tory government.

    I suspect that the reason for the closure is that is it is no longer economic to keep it going. Same as any business, if it is not viable and cannot feasibly be made viable, there is no point and financial resources are finite. Not sure we are in a position to keep any unviable business indefinitely subsidised or why particular industries should get preferential support - which in any event may be against EU rules on state subsidies.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 19,103
    There are many, many others getting laid off at this time in other industries.
    The really sad part is that it is such an occurrence that it is no longer news worthy.
    This Country is in a downward spiral by which the effects will be felt next year.

    Merry Christmas!
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • it will take at least 10 years to close down uk coal fired power stations, meanwhile we will be closing down pits, importing coal from the states/EU and paying out large amounts of money to unemployed miners, most ex pit communities go into terminal decline, costing how much? in extra benefits, less money in the community less taxes paid and poor life chances for future generations.... the question i am asking is this a good idea? and cost effective?

    other eu countries just ignore eu rules and by the time the issue ends up in some court somewhere, the situation has reversed itself, Italy is giving blatant subsidies to its steel industry, Poland ignores Eu rules on coal mining and subsidy.... the french, fishing and farming? pig farming standards in eu compared to UK ?

    i dont see it as some working class issue, as you seem to think, rather just economics.

    Steve0, i thought the miners bought down Heaths Gov in '74 ?
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,340
    edited December 2015
    it will take at least 10 years to close down uk coal fired power stations, meanwhile we will be closing down pits, importing coal from the states/EU and paying out large amounts of money to unemployed miners, most ex pit communities go into terminal decline, costing how much? in extra benefits, less money in the community less taxes paid and poor life chances for future generations.... the question i am asking is this a good idea? and cost effective?

    other eu countries just ignore eu rules and by the time the issue ends up in some court somewhere, the situation has reversed itself, Italy is giving blatant subsidies to its steel industry, Poland ignores Eu rules on coal mining and subsidy.... the french, fishing and farming? pig farming standards in eu compared to UK ?

    i dont see it as some working class issue, as you seem to think, rather just economics.

    Steve0, i thought the miners bought down Heaths Gov in '74 ?
    As far as I recall the Heath govt fell, after the 74 GE when they failed to secure a coalition with the Liberals. That event led to the ascendency of one M Thatcher, so every cloud... :wink:

    As for whether this makes sense, you have to assume that the owners have looked at the economics and it is their business/their decision. What you're talking about then is the old chestnut of state ownership and I think that debate has been well trodden. But if you follow your logic, why doesnt the state not just prop up exisiting unviable businesses when it could set unviable businesses of its own, put people on the payrol and sell things cheaply?

    Edited for censored spelling
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    There are many, many others getting laid off at this time in other industries.
    The really sad part is that it is such an occurrence that it is no longer news worthy.
    This Country is in a downward spiral by which the effects will be felt next year.

    Merry Christmas!
    Presumably, the employment figures that show employment increasing and unemployment decreasing are all lies manufactured by the Tory/Zionist/Military/Industrial fascist conspiracy?
  • So the UK is to follow the practises of the worst offenders in Europe? Sink to the lowest levels Not rise to the top just to save the dying industry. Yes coal communities will suffer but that happens when there needs to be some adjustment In the industrial sector. Old tech is replaced, those in old tech companies lose out. It has happened a lot through history. Some fought against it for example smashing modern machinery IIRC the luddites, etc. But in the end things move on.

    Harsh that may be on those losing their jobs at this time, is there really any good time for redundancy? It is necessary though. No doubt they'll get token support, enterprise money, etc. Still, I see your point about cost of sudden loss of major employers in a region. Not sure I'd link steel industry problems to coal industry but guess that's my opinion. Ones a viable industry that's hard hit by low steel prices and subsidies used in competing countries to prop up their steel sector. Plus what is effectively dumping on the global market.by Chinese steel over production. Compared to a sector that's been terminal for decades, that's losing it's main customer and can't even compete with foreign supplies. British steel is considered among the best quality, it could be saved by protectionism but British coal isn't anything special, it's more expensive than even south American coal IIRC taking into account the greater distances you have to bring it. I see no value in prolonging the life support when the patient is brain dead.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 19,103
    There are many, many others getting laid off at this time in other industries.
    The really sad part is that it is such an occurrence that it is no longer news worthy.
    This Country is in a downward spiral by which the effects will be felt next year.

    Merry Christmas!
    Presumably, the employment figures that show employment increasing and unemployment decreasing are all lies manufactured by the Tory/Zionist/Military/Industrial fascist conspiracy?
    Okay.
    Skilled work is in decline. Minimum wage is on the increase.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,319
    There will still be a short term demand for coal. I is cheaper to import it at 100% loss or is it better to prop an industry up because of all the lateral benefits? I mean, after all we are not talking about long term state ownership.

    I knew a guy who worked for the NCB who was part of a project researching the derivatives of coal but the funding dried up, which was entirely political. He said that the potentials were never fully explored. Maybe Tangled Metal can clarify this a bit more.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    There will still be a short term demand for coal. I is cheaper to import it at 100% loss or is it better to prop an industry up because of all the lateral benefits? I mean, after all we are not talking about long term state ownership.

    I knew a guy who worked for the NCB who was part of a project researching the derivatives of coal but the funding dried up, which was entirely political. He said that the potentials were never fully explored. Maybe Tangled Metal can clarify this a bit more.

    world coal is £30 per ton, uk coal at £43, some of that is dif is because of our safer working practices and green taxes, so ok to allow workers abroad to suffer to give us cheaper coal?

    in the case of coal and steel, the costs of short term aid are small compared to the job loses, benefits claimed, taxes lost and the long term decline of an area, its not just the local jobs either, the Redcar works closed with 1200 lost, apparently it will be a further 3000 locally and up to 9000 nationally, thats a lot of subsidised energy and a few gov contracts bought forward.

    We have a very small manufacturing industry in this country because of short term decisions
  • floreriderflorerider Posts: 1,112
    Doesn't it seem odd for a Government that passed an Energy Act that created large subsidies to European state owned companies to hold coal fired power plant on standby and not generate to be lecturing the EU on efficiency and fiscal responsibility? Might be more fiscally responsible not to be paying that subsidy to foreign governments via their state owned utilities. Passing legislation to pay money to other EU governments whilst complaining about the cost of being in the EU takes some time to get one's head around.

    Oh, and the Grid told the select committee it has arrangements in place to ensure security of supplies this winter because it has contracted some large industrial users to stop taking electricity at peak times.

    Coal is about a quarter of the cost of that required to make shale viable economically, even taking into account the subsidies currently offered to shale.
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    the miners have paid a very heavy price for daring to bring down the tory government.

    i know the free marketeers will say, but as with the 1000's of steel worker jobs gone, how much does this cost in the long run? the benefits claimed and loss to the economy and would nt it be cheaper to keep these industries going, as other eu countries seem to be able to do? in this 2 instances, cheaper energy costs and subsidised coal prices? esp as gov has scrapped a lot of its green polices and clean (er) carbon capture energy provision.
    I'm self employed, as are many hundreds of thousands ,if no one wants to buy my services I'm out on a limb and left to resolve the situation myself. Absolutely no help from anyone else, state or private. It's shoot for these people without a doubt, do I have sympathy for them and their families, yes. Do I think my tax should pay to keep them in a job.. No way at all.
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,319
    Is it as simple as that B'moon? No one has told me how paying for imported coal instead of British coal (albeit at an inflated price) which supports taxpaying workers and prevents them going on benefits - with all the social and financial costs is better economically. Paying for imported coal is a 100% loss. Paying for subsidised British coal keeps the money in the system. One cannot possible cost more than the other.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • the miners have paid a very heavy price for daring to bring down the tory government.

    i know the free marketeers will say, but as with the 1000's of steel worker jobs gone, how much does this cost in the long run? the benefits claimed and loss to the economy and would nt it be cheaper to keep these industries going, as other eu countries seem to be able to do? in this 2 instances, cheaper energy costs and subsidised coal prices? esp as gov has scrapped a lot of its green polices and clean (er) carbon capture energy provision.
    I'm self employed, as are many hundreds of thousands ,if no one wants to buy my services I'm out on a limb and left to resolve the situation myself. Absolutely no help from anyone else, state or private. It's shoot for these people without a doubt, do I have sympathy for them and their families, yes. Do I think my tax should pay to keep them in a job.. No way at all.

    Maybe you dont but your taxes will be used to fund the dole q for these guys, the generational unemplyment the area will suffer, the grants given to companies to relocate, the re training, the lost taxes they wont pay.

    i manintain that you and i will pay less tax if we supported them.

    we support farming, with massive grants, both EU and our own Governemnts, even paying them NOT to farm....
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,903
    My old man was a miner who got made redundant in late 80s. After the 72 and 74 industrial actions, the miners enjoyed a boom in pay and bonuses. My dad used to say that they were pricing themselves out of a job...

    As regards those of you that advocate subsidising industries, why stop at coal and steel. Perhaps that excess steel that you would have us pay to produce could have been used to make British Leyland cars?
    Perfect - steel that nobody wants, smelted using coal that nobody wants, used to make cars that nobody wants. A certain symmetry to it don't you think?
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,340
    Some peope on here are makimg the case that it is economically better to nationalise andmprop up a loss making business indefinitely. Here is why this doesnt work.

    Taking each assertion in turn:
    1. We get more in taxes if we keep them working.
    Wrong. The taxpayer will fund all of their pay but only get back at best half of that in employees taxes. The company will pay no corporate tax as it is loss making and may even get a refund if it can carry back the losses to profitable years. What is being proposed is effectively keeping tbe unemployed on the payroll which is more costly than the dole. Add to that the taxpayer is funding all of the losses that the operation incurs, not just the pay so that is an open ended liability.

    2. We have to pay them all dole
    Assuming nobody else gets another job. People look for work. New industries spring up. Part of the normal business cycle.

    3. It must be cheaper than buying imported coal
    How do you know? If it really is uneconomic to keep the business going, the costs of doing that could easily exceed the cost of buying alternative sources of energy. In any event the customers are likely to be private enterprise so it is not a loss for the state.

    But let's not get too carried away. This is only one mine.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 19,103
    1. You forgot the positive aspect of the sale of the coal. Counter that to dole payments and thing will look different.
    2. New jobs are likely to be at a much reduced rate. Reducing tax income and spending ability.
    3. The business case is not the same as the National interest.

    For clarification, I don't like to see good money go after bad but the bigger picture has to be looked at.
    Plus, it's fun being the Devil's advocate.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    Some peope on here are makimg the case that it is economically better to nationalise andmprop up a loss making business indefinitely. Here is why this doesnt work.

    Taking each assertion in turn:
    1. We get more in taxes if we keep them working.
    Wrong. The taxpayer will fund all of their pay but only get back at best half of that in employees taxes. The company will pay no corporate tax as it is loss making and may even get a refund if it can carry back the losses to profitable years. What is being proposed is effectively keeping tbe unemployed on the payroll which is more costly than the dole. Add to that the taxpayer is funding all of the losses that the operation incurs, not just the pay so that is an open ended liability.

    2. We have to pay them all dole
    Assuming nobody else gets another job. People look for work. New industries spring up. Part of the normal business cycle.

    3. It must be cheaper than buying imported coal
    How do you know? If it really is uneconomic to keep the business going, the costs of doing that could easily exceed the cost of buying alternative sources of energy. In any event the customers are likely to be private enterprise so it is not a loss for the state.

    But let's not get too carried away. This is only one mine.

    From what I can make out, people are saying subsidise rather than nationalise. In that case, the state wouldn't be paying the entire wage bill.

    Do you oppose government subsidies to all industries? Because fossil fuels, nuclear and renewables all receive government subsidies.
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    I'm more bothered that Germany is not closing down it's coal industry. Their still digging up the Lignite and have just built some new power stations. The silver lining I suppose is that the finger cannot be pointed at us. Although no doubt it will be.
  • Appologies folks, I posted another thread about the death of deep mined British coal elsewhere before I came upon this one.
    My sentiments don't change though.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032

    Taking each assertion in turn:
    1. We get more in taxes if we keep them working.
    Wrong. The taxpayer will fund all of their pay but only get back at best half of that in employees taxes. The company will pay no corporate tax as it is loss making and may even get a refund if it can carry back the losses to profitable years. What is being proposed is effectively keeping tbe unemployed on the payroll which is more costly than the dole. Add to that the taxpayer is funding all of the losses that the operation incurs, not just the pay so that is an open ended liability.

    2. We have to pay them all dole
    Assuming nobody else gets another job. People look for work. New industries spring up. Part of the normal business cycle.

    3. It must be cheaper than buying imported coal
    How do you know? If it really is uneconomic to keep the business going, the costs of doing that could easily exceed the cost of buying alternative sources of energy. In any event the customers are likely to be private enterprise so it is not a loss for the state.

    But let's not get too carried away. This is only one mine.

    following job losses in mining areas in the 80s, employment rates have recovered to about 50% of what they were formerly, a shortfall of 90k, then there is crime, drugs, family breakdown, failing educational std's, for many in these areas, there is no new employment, just super hi long term sickness rates! there is also the cost of re training and tax breaks to get new start ups, not to mention relocating state employment to these areas.

    Over £1 billion has been spent just on failed job creation in these areas, total jobs created between 8 and 16k, no one knows how permanant any of these have been :shock:

    of course we cant keep bank rolling a failed industry but in the case of coal, we still still need the stuff and with steel we make some of the finest stuff around but chinese imports, tax rates and energy costs have made our products uncompetitive, when the chinese eco picks up again, we will be buying steel from the Italians and others who have supported their industies through tough times.

    As has been pointed out, we will import coal mined in sub std conditions, columbia has a terrible safety record but thats ok?

    If closure is needed, why cant new business and start up loans etc be in place as the business declines rather than some catch up years later?

    yes its only one mine, and thats no doubt the Governments attitude too.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 60,997 Lives Here
    It was inevitable but that doesn't make it any less sad.

    Entire towns have been built around these mines and it's a difficult job to retrain from so some sympathy wouldn't go amiss. Hopefully there will be some kind of well thought out plan to help the communities move on from coal rather then being left to fester. In the long run the latter would be plenty more expensive.

    Ironically UK is effectively subsidising the Chinese/French nuclear plant through higher prices. That gets less criticism however.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 19,103
    Hopefully there will be some kind of well thought out plan to help the communities move on from coal rather then being left to fester. In the long run the latter would be plenty more expensive.
    That would require some forward thinking and long term planning.
    Both of which are sadly lacking.
    By lacking, I mean non existent.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,340
    Some peope on here are makimg the case that it is economically better to nationalise andmprop up a loss making business indefinitely. Here is why this doesnt work.

    Taking each assertion in turn:
    1. We get more in taxes if we keep them working.
    Wrong. The taxpayer will fund all of their pay but only get back at best half of that in employees taxes. The company will pay no corporate tax as it is loss making and may even get a refund if it can carry back the losses to profitable years. What is being proposed is effectively keeping tbe unemployed on the payroll which is more costly than the dole. Add to that the taxpayer is funding all of the losses that the operation incurs, not just the pay so that is an open ended liability.

    2. We have to pay them all dole
    Assuming nobody else gets another job. People look for work. New industries spring up. Part of the normal business cycle.

    3. It must be cheaper than buying imported coal
    How do you know? If it really is uneconomic to keep the business going, the costs of doing that could easily exceed the cost of buying alternative sources of energy. In any event the customers are likely to be private enterprise so it is not a loss for the state.

    But let's not get too carried away. This is only one mine.

    From what I can make out, people are saying subsidise rather than nationalise. In that case, the state wouldn't be paying the entire wage bill.

    Do you oppose government subsidies to all industries? Because fossil fuels, nuclear and renewables all receive government subsidies.
    Maybe the govt see some other strategic value or there is a necessity in other forms of production.

    I am looking at this case and I can't see here an economic case or strategic case to nationalise and prop it up: that was what was being proposed and I set out my reasons why not. It would appear that the owners of the mine, who real,y know the financial situation, are of the same view.

    Any comments on my points and the specific issue above?
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    i think i pretty much addressed your comments, bottom line is that by failing to secure alternative employment before these key industries die, we end up paying for decades to come, the long term costs out weighing any short term subsidy.
    Cornwall still gets objective one funding years after the collapse of mining and fishing industries and it doesnt work.

    Rick, you wont get much sympathy for the miners/steel workers on this forum :(
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,340
    i think i pretty much addressed your comments, bottom line is that by failing to secure alternative employment before these key industries die, we end up paying for decades to come, the long term costs out weighing any short term subsidy.
    Cornwall still gets objective one funding years after the collapse of mining and fishing industries and it doesnt work.

    Rick, you wont get much sympathy for the miners/steel workers on this forum :(
    It's not a question of people having no sympathy for the human impact.

    But whose job is is it to second guess the future state of a gjven company and try to sort out other jobs for them before the company has made a decision? Nice idea but not really practical and assumes some form of central state control over who works where.

    Fyi I grew up in a town reliant on steel and chemicals in the North East when times were hard. We didnt want sympathy then, we just got on with dealing with it. With hindsight it worked out better than if I had stayed.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • pinnopinno Posts: 45,319
    Some peope on here are makimg the case that it is economically better to nationalise andmprop up a loss making business indefinitely. Here is why this doesnt work.

    Taking each assertion in turn:
    1. We get more in taxes if we keep them working.
    Wrong. The taxpayer will fund all of their pay but only get back at best half of that in employees taxes.

    That is a presumption. The margin between profitability and loss is small. For example; If we provide energy at a competitive rate (most expensive per KW in Europe in the competitive member states, BTW) that may be enough to tip the balance.


    The company will pay no corporate tax as it is loss making and may even get a refund if it can carry back the losses to profitable years.

    Another presumption. You are assuming blanket subsidy. You have suggested that they don't pay corporate tax? Where in this particular subsidy debate has anyone said that removing corporate tax is the method to subsidise this particular company?

    What is being proposed is effectively keeping tbe unemployed on the payroll which is more costly than the dole. Add to that the taxpayer is funding all of the losses that the operation incurs, not just the pay so that is an open ended liability.

    A extension of the previous presumption. Racking up the rhetoric of your proposed method of subsidy to argue against it using presumption

    2. We have to pay them all dole
    Assuming nobody else gets another job. People look for work. New industries spring up. Part of the normal business cycle.

    The usual cycle of replacing these jobs with low paid jobs in the service sector. Couple that with the North South divide where new opportunities will most likely materialise in the south in an area with massive financial obstacles to resettlement such as house prices, availability and cost of living, it never really balances the equation.
    It just makes the South East more competitive and the North more destitute.


    3. It must be cheaper than buying imported coal
    How do you know? If it really is uneconomic to keep the business going, the costs of doing that could easily exceed the cost of buying alternative sources of energy. In any event the customers are likely to be private enterprise so it is not a loss for the state.

    Well there is an indirect subsidy opportunity - reduce the VAT for companies buying the coal should they buy it in the UK. That way we would not be directly subsidising Kellingly. Reducing energy costs in the UK would make a massive difference to all sectors of business. Both domestically and commercially, we are being fleeced by the energy companies (Re.: Npower). Energy provision and good communication networks are critical to the performance and potential of any economy but we just leave it to the lottery of 'market forces'. It is in everybody's interest yet we come up with a myriad of excuses why we don't deploy better methods to control it more efficiently. Makes no frikkin sense to me.

    But let's not get too carried away. This is only one mine.

    Yes, lets not get too carried away, it's just one mine. Therefore, any subsidy in whatever form is short term due to the gradual phasing out of coal fired power stations and won't be a long drawn out headache. Whilst the coal fired power stations are phased out, the number of people employed at Kellingly can be slowly tapered off. Some will go through natural wastage (i.e retirement) and in the interim we can work out ways and means of re-training and employment in another sphere.

    We are so good at arriving at cul-de-sacs without ever anticipating that it was the most likely outcome. We are not pro-active enough during that period when the cash cow is failing.

    On the subject of the north/south divide and 'Northern powerhouse' - why isn't the government considering an international airport in Yorkshire? F*ck an expansion to Heathrow, Stanstead or Gatwick.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    Some peope on here are makimg the case that it is economically better to nationalise andmprop up a loss making business indefinitely. Here is why this doesnt work.

    Taking each assertion in turn:
    1. We get more in taxes if we keep them working.
    Wrong. The taxpayer will fund all of their pay but only get back at best half of that in employees taxes. The company will pay no corporate tax as it is loss making and may even get a refund if it can carry back the losses to profitable years. What is being proposed is effectively keeping tbe unemployed on the payroll which is more costly than the dole. Add to that the taxpayer is funding all of the losses that the operation incurs, not just the pay so that is an open ended liability.

    2. We have to pay them all dole
    Assuming nobody else gets another job. People look for work. New industries spring up. Part of the normal business cycle.

    3. It must be cheaper than buying imported coal
    How do you know? If it really is uneconomic to keep the business going, the costs of doing that could easily exceed the cost of buying alternative sources of energy. In any event the customers are likely to be private enterprise so it is not a loss for the state.

    But let's not get too carried away. This is only one mine.

    From what I can make out, people are saying subsidise rather than nationalise. In that case, the state wouldn't be paying the entire wage bill.

    Do you oppose government subsidies to all industries? Because fossil fuels, nuclear and renewables all receive government subsidies.
    Maybe the govt see some other strategic value or there is a necessity in other forms of production.

    I am looking at this case and I can't see here an economic case or strategic case to nationalise and prop it up: that was what was being proposed and I set out my reasons why not. It would appear that the owners of the mine, who real,y know the financial situation, are of the same view.

    Any comments on my points and the specific issue above?

    I can't see a single person saying it should be nationalised. I'm a bit short of shut-eye at the moment, but I don't think I'm so tired I've skipped over someone saying nationalise the pit.

    As for the principle of government subsidies/nationalisation, I say take it on a case-by-case basis. Plenty of companies/industries get government support. I don't know enough about this case in particular to offer an opinion.

    As for coal in general, let's be honest, it's had its day. As far as I'm aware, nobody has yet made clean coal technology viable, so this was bound to happen sooner or later. A low carbon future is now an accepted goal in just about every country in the world, so I would say that in this case the emphasis should be shifted to making sure that the workers (especially the older ones who may suffer age discrimination when looking for alternative employment) are supported properly.
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