Supplementary memorandum by the Chamber
of Shipping (P 23A)
LIGHT DUES AND THE FUNDING OF GENERAL LIGHTHOUSE
In the Chamber's written evidence to the House
of Commons Transport Sub-Committee, it was noted that the current
Light Dues arrangements in the UK disadvantage UK ports. This
note sets out briefly a factual description of the funding arrangements
for the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs).
Members are referred to the last published accounts
of the General Lighthouse Fund (GLF), covering the year ended
31 March 1999 (House of Commons Paper 851 of 1999-2000).
The three General Lighthouse Authorities are
financed entirely from the GLF. The Secretary of State effectively
acts as the Trustee of the GLF, in the interests of its beneficiaries,
principally the shipping companies who make the payments and the
GLA's present and former staff, whose pensions are paid out of
the Fund. The GLF is administered by the Department of the Environment,
Transport and the Regions, but it is not public money. There are
no Treasury payments whatsoever into the Fund. Indeed, certain
administrative expenses of the Secretary of State are reimbursed
from the Fund.
To summarise the GLF income for 1998-99 was
|UK Light Dues||64.352
|Irish Light Dues||3.100
|Irish Government Contribution||1.593
|MoD payment towards Decca Navigator*||0.174
|Rentals and sundry receipts||0.900
|Profit on sale of fixed assets||2.108
|Income from investments||0.378
|Profit on sale of investments||2.759
*The Decca Navigator service ending in March 2000 and no
payments relating to its use are now made by MoD.
The costs of the three GLAs in 1998-99 were:
Northern Lighthouse Board£16,496 mn
Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL)**£13,015 mn
** It is generally accepted that 70 per cent of CIL's expenditure
relates to the provision of aids to navigation in the Republic
Light Dues are payable by shipping using UK and Irish ports.
In the UK the tarrif and regulations, subject to a minor amendment
in 1998, are set out in the Merchant Shipping (Light Dues) Regulations
1997 (SI 562/1997). The vase majority comes from commercial shipping,
with small amounts from the fishing industry and certain smaller
vessels. All vessels below 20 net tons are exempt as well as tugs
and fishing vessels below 10 metres in length. Almost all leisure
craft are below 20 net tons.
7 March 2001