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Shipping: Light Dues

Volume 699: debated on Monday 3 March 2008

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Jim Fitzpatrick) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to announce that light dues rates and the tonnage threshold will remain the same for 2008-09. As a result of continuing efficiency gains made by the general lighthouse authorities we were able to cut dues by 10 per cent in 2006, which we held down at that level in 2007 and now will hold again in 2008. We shall continue to work closely with the general lighthouse authorities to streamline and improve services further to reduce costs where we can, while maintaining prudent funding to meet their liabilities and high standards of safety.

I also welcome the publication of the Irish lights evidence study today. The study sets out evidence on the funding of the provision of aids to navigation in the Republic of Ireland. It will provide the basis for negotiations between the UK and Irish Governments to find a long-term funding solution for the Commissioners of Irish Lights. I am placing copies of the study in the Libraries of both Houses.