HC Deb 22 February 1973 vol 851 cc833-5

'(1) Compensation under section 68 of the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act 1845 or section 10 of the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 (compensation for injurious affection where no land taken) shall carry interest, at the rate for the time being prescribed under section 32 of the Land Compensation Act 1961, from the date of the claim until payment.

(2) Compensation under section 6 of the Railways Clauses Consolidation (Scotland) Act 1845 (compensation for injurious affection where no land taken) shall carry interest, at the rate for the time being prescribed under section 40 of the Land Compensation (Scotland) Act 1963, from the date of the claim until payment'.—[Mr. Graham Page.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Graham Page

I beg to move, that the Clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

We are to discuss at the same time Government new Clause 15 and Government Amendments Nos. 58, 60 and 68.

Mr. Page

This group of new clauses and amendments deals with interest payable on compensation payments or pay- ments similar to compensation payments. Interest is payable on straightforward compensation but not on certain other payments for which we have provided in the Bill. Under new Clause 2, interest will be payable on injurious affection, and under new Clause 15 for the injurious affection claim which may arise out of Part I of the Bill.

Under Amendment No. 60 interest will be payable on farm loss payments, and under Amendment No. 68 it will be payable on disturbance payments.

We have then covered all except the home loss payments. As they are payable within three months of the claim, we did not think it proper to provide for interest on them, as it would be such a small sum.

In going through these items I have discovered that there may be one more for which we should provide. No interest in law is payable on well-maintained payments, so we may wish to make an addition in another place to clear the whole question up.

One other point concerns the second leg of Amendment No. 60 and of Amendment No. 58, which is a paving amendment for it. That second leg deals with the claim period for a farm loss, which is one year from displacement. By the amendment we shall extend the claim period for one year from Royal Assent for a farmer who has been displaced between 17th October last and the Royal Assent.

Mr. Frederick Mulley (Sheffield, Park)

I thank the Minister for the amendments, which meet a point I put far less elegantly but far more briefly in an amendment that sought to do everything in one go instead of four or five.

I see the argument for not including home loss payments, but in his further reflections on the Bill perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will bear in mind that with the present record rates of interest three months' interest could be quite a large sum. The Bill makes no provision for the case where the local authority might be in default of its obligation to pay within three months. Most local authorities will seek to observe the letter and spirit of the law, but the Bill provides no penalty if, for whatever reason, a payment is not made in three months. If the claimant had to sue, it would take quite a time.

The Minister might like to consider this as well as the other matter he has under taken to consider before the subsequent stages.

Mr. Julius Silverman (Birmingham, Aston)

What is the present prescribed rate of interest?

Mr. Graham Page

I cannot tell the hon. Gentleman off the cuff. There is an order about once a month altering the rates of interest. They come before me but I cannot memorise them, particularly as they are in three columns for long-dated and short-dated loans and so on.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time and added to the Bill.

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