The government is focused on delivering maritime sector growth in the United Kingdom. This includes enhancing government leadership and creating a supportive environment that will enable the sector to thrive. The vital work of the General Lighthouse Authorities, which provide and maintain marine aids to navigation around these islands, forms part of this vision.
Continued real terms reductions in the three authorities’ running costs in the UK means that I am able to reduce light dues by a further penny, to 38 pence per net registered tonne, on 1 April 2016. This will be the third successive year in which the UK light dues rate has been cut, and means that light dues have fallen by 20% in real terms since 2010.
The government is committed to providing long-term stability for light dues payers, so they can plan budgets effectively. To support that objective, I have set the UK General Lighthouse Authorities new 5-year efficiency targets, succeeding those set in 2010, which require net running costs to continue falling in real terms, by on average 2 percentage points below the retail price index.
Ships using our busy waters depend on the effectiveness of the service provided by the General Lighthouse Authorities as much as their efficiency. As the authorities continue to work assets harder, harness new technology, and procure goods and services collaboratively, our common aim will be to reduce the risk to navigation and the cost of doing so effectively.