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Fisheries: Fuels

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information he holds on the levels of fuel subsidy provided to fishing fleets in other EU member states; and if he will make a statement. (204625)

[holding answer 9 May 2008]: I understand that the Spanish Government is making payments directly related to fuel used by fishermen. These payments are within the de minimis limits set out in Commission Regulation 875/2007. The payments are set at 0.095 per litre of fuel used in the period 1 November 2004 to 31 October 2005.

If applied in the UK, such a scheme would cost in the order of £25 million a year, and result in a payment to fishermen of around 7.5p/litre of fuel used: around one third of the increase in the price of diesel since this time last year. Such a scheme does not address the need for the fleet to adapt to higher fuel prices in the longer term, diverts resources from assisting with this adaptation and is not sustainable.

I have no information that any other member state is making such payments.