Government in crisis: Doomed pits made profit, TUC says

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BRITISH Coal sources have disclosed that the 10 pits still to be closed made an operating profit of at least pounds 3m last year, according to the TUC.

Officially, management maintained that the collieries had lost pounds 30m so far this year, but six of the pits were making profits, the TUC said. Norman Willis, general secretary of the TUC, said Parliament should not accept Mr Heseltine's statement. 'I think the package announced in the Commons is riddled with false hopes and clear inaccuracies.'

The TUC claims that Parkside Colliery in the Midlands made more than pounds 5m operating profit last year as did Taff Merthyr in South Wales. It says Vane Tempest in the North-east made pounds 2.3m, Cotgrave in Nottinghamshire pounds 2m, Silverhill in Nottinghamshire pounds 1.9m, and Grimethorpe in South Yorkshire pounds 700,000.

According to the TUC, the other four pits lost money: Trentham in Staffordshire pounds 6.6m, Houghton Main and Markham Main in South Yorkshire pounds 3.1m and pounds 200,000 respectively and Betws in South Wales pounds 1.9m.

The TUC also published a report yesterday showing that unemployment will rise by up to 6.6 per cent in areas affected by proposed pit closures.

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