The three General Lighthouse Authorities for the United Kingdom and Ireland ensure the navigability of the seas around our islands, preserving the lives of mariners and the integrity of our marine environment. We entrust this vital task to these historic organisations, each of which protects ships visiting and trading within our shores.
Our collaboration with the Irish government in the provision of marine aids to navigation around the whole of Ireland is also symbolic of the friendship that exists between our 2 nations, and what we can achieve through working together.
Over many years, the General Lighthouse Authorities have built up great expertise and capabilities in maritime operations. This has enabled each authority to market their skills to earn commercial income and reduce the call on light dues payers, but only where it does not interfere with their core statutory activities.
I remain committed to the efficient and effective provision of marine aids to navigation. I have therefore decided that light dues will be frozen at the current levels for 2013 to 2014. This government has delivered a 12% reduction in real term light dues levels since 2010, and confirmation of this further freeze will give certainty over the coming year to those asked to pay for this vital service.