§ Sir Walter Clegg
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether arrangements have yet been completed for paying the new aid for the fishing industry announced on 30 March; and how this will affect departmental cash limits for 1981–82.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
We have today published the full details of the Fishing Vessel Temporary Support Scheme 1981. Copies of the scheme have been placed in the Library.
The aid will be in the form of payments to the owners of registered fishing vessels which were available for fishing on 30 March 1981 and which meet certain criteria designed to show that the vessel is genuinely a commercial fishing vessel. Payments will be graduated by reference to the length of vessels in accordance with the scale which I announced on 15 April. Claim forms and explanatory notes are available from local sea fisheries offices and 460W vessel owners are advised to contact their local offices as soon as possible. Applications are to be submitted by 29 May 1981.
Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimates, the increase of £25 million to cover aid to the fishing industry announced on 30 March will be distributed as follows: £12,340,000 to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to meet expenditure arising in both England and Northern Ireland; £12,260,000 to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland; and £400,000 to the Welsh Office. The cash limits for Class III, Vote 5, Class XV, Vote 2 and Class XVI, Vote 5 will be increased from £29,712,000 to £40,567,000, from £57,181,000 to £68,870,000: and from £81,017,000 to £81,189,000 respectively. At £22,716,000 these increases total £2,284,000 less than the amount of assistance being provided because offsetting savings are being made. Of the £25 million some £18.4 million has been charged to the contingency Reserve; the difference is accounted for by the savings referred to above and the fact that £4.3 million of expenditure was not reflected in Main Estimates, but was in public expenditure plans. The total assistance is thus accommodated within the Government's published plan for total public expenditure in 1981–82.