The Coastguard, Emergency Towing Vessels and the Maritime Incident Response Group - Transport Committee Contents

2  The Maritime and Coastguard Agency: funding

9. To understand the context of the recent Government proposals to modernise the Coastguard, and the decisions on emergency towing vessels and the Maritime Incident Response Group, it is necessary to understand recent budgetary pressures on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.[7] Unlike other DfT agencies, the MCA is not a trading fund; it is funded mainly by central Government. The MCA derives some income from services to shipping and seafarers, but this is a relatively small part of its resources (£11m in 2009-10).[8] Its net operating cost was £134m in 2009-10.

10. Following the Spending Review, it was announced that the MCA's programme budget will be reduced by 21% to £77m in 2014-15,[9] its administration budget reduced by 33% to £10.3m in 2014-15, but its capital budget will increase by 60% from £6.2m in 2010-11 to £9.9m in 2014-15 (see Figure 1). To make the £20m cut to its programme budget, the MCA announced it would find £10m from the decision not to renew the emergency towing vessel contract, £2m from efficiencies, £340,000 from the decision to cease funding to the Maritime Incident Response Group and £7-8m from the restructuring of the Coastguard Service.
Figure 1. MCA budget across the spending review period (net of income), £m
  2010/11 2011/122012/13 2013/142014/15
resource131 119.8125.7 101.287.3
of which:
programme*- 106.9113.8 90.277.0
administration- 12.911.9 11.010.3
capital6.2 9.39.5 9.79.9

* Includes SAR Helicopter (SAR-H) current contract costs, but excludes provision for a future contract beyond 2012

Source: MCA

7   The Maritime and Coastguard Agency was established on 1 April 1998, as an executive agency of the Department for Transport. The agency's main roles are to provide a 24-hour maritime Search and Rescue service; prevent pollution from ships and minimise the effects of pollution incidents; and maintain the safety, security and environmental standards of commercial vessels flying the UK flag, and of foreign vessels visiting UK ports and waters, and the safety of seafarers serving on those vessels. Back

8   Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Annual Report and Accounts 2009-10, table 8. Back

9   Written evidence (Ev 71) provided the Committee with a breakdown of programme (excluding SAR-H costs) and administration budgets for 2010-11 as published on the MCA intranet. The total resource budget was £111m, of which approximately £14m corresponded to administrative costs and £97m to programme costs. The percentage cuts cited here refer to these baselines. Back

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Prepared 23 June 2011