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Fishing Industry

Volume 29: debated on Thursday 28 October 1982

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the fishing industry.

I refer my hon. Friend to the statement which I made in the House yesterday.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will categorise the aid given to the fishing industry in the last two financial years in terms of(a)grants,(b)loans and(c)other financial assistance to (i) the catching fleets, giving deep sea and inshore figures separately and (ii) other sectors of the industry.

Information on the direct assistance given to the United Kingdom fishing industry in the last two financial years to 31 March is set out in the following table. Separate figures for the deep sea and the inshore fleets are not immediately available.

1980–81£ million1981–82£million
Construction and modernisation*of fishing vessels6·44·3
Fish processing0·20·2
Producer Organisations2·00·1
FEOGA awards†2·72·5
Construction and modernisation*of fishing vessels4·64·0
Fish processing0·50·1
(c) Other:
Fishing Vessel Temporary Support Scheme14·124·7
Exploratory Voyages Scheme1·0


* Grants and loans for construction and modernisation of fishing vessels made available through the Sea Fish Industry Authority—and its predecessors the White Fish Authority and the Herring Industry Board—the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland and the Highlands and Islands Development Board.

†FEOGA awards are those approved by the European Community Commission during each financial year.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give details of the financing of the £15 million aid for the fishing industry which he announced on 27 October.

Parliamentary approval will be sought of Supplementary Estimates of £15 million to provide the third scheme of short-term aid to the fishing industry which I announced on 27 October. Pending that approval the necessary urgent expenditure will be met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.The proposed £15 million will be distributed as follows:

£7,240,000 to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to meet expenditure arising in both England and Northern Ireland;
£7,485,000 to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland;
£275,000 to the Welsh Office.

The cash limits for Class III, Vote 5, Class XV, Vote 2 and Class XVI, Vote 5 will be increased from £29,290,000 to £32,030,000, from £58,895,000 to £66,380,000 and from £64,177,000 to £64,452,000 respectively. The increase in the cash limits total is less than the amount of assistance being provided because offsetting savings of £4·5 million are being found from within Class III, Vote 5. The remaining £10·5 million will be found from within the existing provision in the public expenditure plans for programme 3. There will therefore be no increase in planned spending totals.

The European Commission will be formally notified of these proposals. Consideration by the Commission of the two earlier schemes of 1980 and 1981 led them to open the procedure provided for in article 93(2) of the Treaty of Rome. This procedure has not yet been completed.