Lochhead Slams Move To Scrap Boats – Fishupdate.com

Lochhead Slams Move To Scrap Boats Fishing Monthly Published:  10 July, 2003

SCOTTISH National Party Shadow Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead today welcomed approval by the European Commission of the Scottish transitional aid scheme for fisheries dependent businesses.

But he bitterly criticised delays in the paying out of the Scottish government decommissioning scheme.Mr Lochhead said:”We do not believe that decommissioning is the way to go for Scottish fishing, but it shows just what dire straits the industry has been brought to that so many skippers had to apply to wreck their boats because they have no faith in the Scottish government to fight for them.

” The £40m package was announced in January but is only coming close to being paid out now, while not a penny of the £10m rates relief package has been paid. And of the 178 boats that applied only 69 are to receive funding- what will happen to the rest?

“We know that there are proposals for additional aid within the

European budgets, but that the Scottish government has not applied,

preferring instead to use Scottish money to wreck Scottish boats and put Scottish workers on the dole. No other state will be destroying their own boats because their own minister did not have a voice in negotiations and it is bitterly disappointing to be let down so badly.”