§ Mr. Trotter
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is his estimate of the net effect on public funds of the decision to reduce the initial survey fee for fishing vessels to the lower level applicable to renewal surveys; how much in total will now be refunded to fishermen; to what extent there has been a reduction in departmental costs relating to the surveys compared with original estimates; and whether the survey scheme will now be self-financing.
§ Mr. Clinton Davis
In the three financial years 1977–78 to 1979–80 it is estimated that the total income from fishing vessels survey fees will be reduced by about £300,000 in all. About £34,000 will be refunded to fishermen, mostly in respect of fees paid in earlier years. There is no evidence of a reduction in departmental costs at a time when the cost effectiveness of survey work has suffered from reluctance of owners to offer their vessels for survey. However, it is intended that, in future the fees for surveys other than initial surveys of existing vessels should cover the costs involved.