TORY leader Iain Duncan Smith has said that if they get power at the next election, his party will scrap the national rod licence.

Smith, who is a keen angler, told Angling Times: “Fishing is a costly sport and over the years tackle has become more and more expensive and on most banks you have to pay for the pleasure of fishing.

“I feel that in this day and age the rod licence has become an outdated tax on a great leisure activity. Fishermen should be able to go fishing with having to look over their shoulder to see if a Government bailiff is on his way.”
Smith says he believes the £700 million of Government funding the Environment Agency receives can be protected with large savings to be made simply be removing red tape. He also pledged that the money would still go directly back into the sport, adding: “Anglers should take a lead role in introducing people to the countryside and I will make sure the sport will continue to do just that. We want more people to enjoy fishing and will make sure that happens.”