Written Answers. - Harbour Charges.

Joe Higgins

Question:

244 Mr. J. Higgins asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he will withdraw the proposal to increase charges for fishermen and other users of the five fishery harbour centres, representing increases of at least ten times the rate of inflation, in view of the damage that this will do to the fishing industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19311/03]

Charges at the five fishery harbour centres were last increased in 1990 and are clearly in need of upward revision. Proposed new charges for the fishery harbour centres were published on 21 May 2003, with a statutory consultation period of 21 days, which ended on 10 June 2003. I am carefully considering the more than 50 submissions received, before making my decision. New charges will not operate on 1 July 2003, but from a later date to be decided.