To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following the consultation on the draft Merchant Shipping (Light Dues) (Amendment) Regulations 2009, they will require the General Lighthouse Authorities to submit business plans for a 25 per cent reduction in their costs of operations, to match the reductions in costs that the shipping sector is having to achieve. [HL2876]
Following the conclusion of the consultation period on 18 May, we will consider all the representations that have been made and take the appropriate decisions on the level of annual light dues rates. The General Lighthouse Authorities' expenditure plans will need to reflect the anticipated income provided by the light dues levels set. In reaching this decision we will have to balance the need to minimise costs against maintaining funding for vital maritime safety equipment.