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The Environment Agency (EA) is consulting on proposals for increases massively above inflation in 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021 and NBTA’s chair, Pamela Smith is urging members to respond by post, email or online before it closes at the end of August.
The EA has already increased registration fees (the equivalent of Canal & River Trust licences) for 2018-2019 on the River Thames by 5.7%; on the Anglian Waterways by 7.5% on the Upper Medway by 10%. The proposed increases mean that for three years running from 2018 to 2020, boaters will see registration fees rise by 5.7% each year on the Thames; 7.5% each year on the Anglian Waterways; and 10% on the Upper Medway.
The NBTA says it opposes all boat registration and licence fee increases except those genuinely in line with inflation, claiming that, if these increases are implemented they will ‘result in more boat dwellers struggling to pay the registration fee, more boats becoming unregistered and more people losing their homes’.
The NBTA says it will publish its full response to the consultation but points out to members that liveaboards are not even mentioned in the consultation. “It seems the EA has not considered the impact of the steep increases on people whose boats are their homes,” says Pamela Smith.