Deposit scheme floppes. Now the Government intends to halve the pot
– It seems unreasonable to first make a deposit scheme that nobody can use, then to strangle it, using the argument that nobody uses it, says the Shipowners’ Association.
In March of last year, the Government launched a scheme that was supposed to help renew the merchant fleet.
They were willing to spend 40 million on shipping companies that send their old ships to wrecking and build new ones. The reason is that they think that the coastal fleet carrying goods along the Norwegian coast is old and pollutes a lot.
Not building new ships
Two months later, Sysla Maritim wrote that only two out of ten ships for which it had been applied received a grant.
The rationale was twofold: firstly, there were many who applied for support that only wanted to wreck and not build replacements.
The other reason that they fell outside, was that the vessels which the ship owners wanted to scrap were to small
But not even these two came through.
One year later, it is clear that not a single application has been granted since the scheme was introduced, despite the fact that the Government allocated NOK 40 million in the current year as well.
– No projects have been awarded so far, says Secretary of State Dilek Ayhan (H) in an email to Sysla Maritime. Ayhan works in the Ministry of Industry and Fisheries.
In the budget agreement in the revised state budget, the Conservatives, the Progress Party, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals proposes to halve the grant in the scheme to NOK 20 million.
– This is a step backwards for green shipping. For the second time, the support parties, KrF and Liberals, choose to strangle the wreckage scheme in a budget negotiation.
– It is disappointing, and contrary to the signals previously announced by the parties that they wish to support the green change in shipping, the Director of Business Policy in Norway Shipowners’ Association, Amund Drønen Ringdal, writes in a press release.
He believes not worked as intended since it is designed so that no ship until now has been qualified for it.
The Shipowners’ Association further believes that the industry’s input on adjustments in the scheme to make it more accurate has not been adhered to.
– Instead of robbing scheme of money, the parties should work to make the scheme relevant to shipping companies. It seems unreasonable to first make a system that nobody can use, and then to strangle it, using the argument that nobody is using it, Ringdal says.
Consider changing the criteria
The opposition also reacts
Maritim Political Spokeswoman in the Labour Party, Else.May Botten, writes in an email that she perceives that the Government is now wrecking its own wreckage scheme.
– The industry has for a long time been asked to have a scheme in place to make progress in the condemnation of old boats. It is incredible that the Government chooses to wreck the entire scheme, rather than adjusting the arrangement so that it works.
– Today’s scheme has only provisions for building new ships, but it should also have a facility that includes second-hand purchases of modern ships, says Botten.
She might be heard.
– The Government is considering changes to the criteria for the scheme, states secretary Ayhan.
Preliminary date for consideration of the revised national budget in Parliament is June 21, 2017.
© Sysla.no / Norway Today