§ Mr. Ridley
My Department has had extensive consultations with the three general lighthouse authorities (Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Commissioners of Irish Lights), the Lights Advisory Committee and—in respect of matters bearing on the Commissioners of Irish Lights—the Irish Department of Communications. In the light of these exchanges, I think it would be desirable if light dues in the United Kingdom in 1986–87 were increased by 5 per cent. and I have laid an order before the House for this purpose. The light dues to be levied by the Commissioners of Irish Lights in the Republic of Ireland are the responsibility of the Irish Minister of Communications.
I am conscious of the need to maintain the competitive position of our shipping industry and of our ports and, following my consultations with the general lighthouse authorities, I have asked them to reduce their expenditure by about £1.7 million in 1986–87.