Keen fisherman and Labour’s parliamentary spokesperson for angling, Martin Salter, is to raise the £400,000 cut in grant-in-aid from DEFRA to the Environment Agency for fisheries work this week in the House of Commons. Mr Salter has tabled a parliamentary question to draw comparisons between government support for angling and boating.

 

In a letter to Environment Secretary David Miliband MP Mr Salter says:

 

“I am well aware of the budgetary pressure that all departments are under but the total G.I.A for fisheries has not had even an inflation rise since 2002 and now faces a cut of £400,000. At the same time Britain’s anglers are contributing an even higher proportion to the invaluable work of the E.A. through annual increases in their rod licences. This contrasts poorly with favourable treatment given to boat owners where G.I.A has risen from £8.3million in 2004/5 to £13.3million in 2006/7. Furthermore the extra income derived from boat registrations for 2006/7 is estimated at £4.2m. This means that anglers are being treated as very much the poor relations of the waterways in that they are contributing over twice the G.I.A figure compared to less than a third for boat owners.”

 

Figures obtained by Mr Salter show that the proportion of the E.A Fisheries budget funded by anglers’ rod licenses has risen from 61% in 2002 to nearly 70% in 2006.

 

Martin Salter said:

 

“This is no time to be cutting the fisheries budget. The Salmon Action Plan has levered in additional resources from other partners and is beginning to have an impact whilst the recent outbreak of the deadly KHV virus shows how important it is to keep up the work to prevent the spread of fish diseases. I am seeking a meeting with Ministers to try and persuade them to reverse these cuts which threaten to undermine the excellent work that Labour has done to promote angling since coming to power.”

 

Table showing level of GIA cuts for fisheries work since 2000.

 

GIA paid to E.A since 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Rod Income

14.42

14.87

16.11

18.1

19.42

19.73

20.05

Total GIA

7.5

6

9.8

9.8

9.8

9.8

9.4

Defra GIA

4.8

3.3

6.3

6.3

6.3

6.3

5.9

WAG GIA

2.7

2.7

3.5

3.5

3.5

3.5

3.5

 

 

 

 

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