UK boaters could be priced out as above inflation licence fees bite

Above inflation price increases to the licence fees will risk pricing boaters off the system or result in them being unable to pay. That’s the warning from the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) regarding the Canal & River Trust’s (CRT) proposals to its boat licence fee.

The IWA says that bearing in mind the CRT is dependent on a government grant that is not inflation linked for a good part of its income and needs to raise more from other sources to compensate, increasing the licence fee beyond inflation could result in a net loss.

Proposals have been made to raise licence fees for continuous cruisers above those with home moorings, however the IWA says it is impossible to define continuous cruisers and the proposal to charge more for continuous cruisers would be an administrative nightmare, open to abuse and highly divisive within the boating community. But the IWA says the proposal to charge by area would bring it in line with Environment Agency registration fees.

The IWA would like to see CRT achieving a considerable increase in the non-boating income from all those who currently enjoy the waterways and whose benefits will suffer if they deteriorate.

In addition, the IWA says it will continue to campaign for local and national government to recognise the many benefits including health and wellbeing that the inland waterways provide to a large part of the population and fund them accordingly.

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