HC Deb 23 February 1978 vol 944 cc756-7W
Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has now completed his assessment of the loss and damage sustained by industry, agriculture, local authorities and the general public in the Highlands in consequence of the snow blizzards; and what plans he has to compensate those who have suffered from this natural disaster.

Mr. Millan

The heaviest losses are undoubtedly among hill farmers and weather conditions are still such that many of them do not know the extent of damage to stocks. The National Farmers' Union of Scotland accepts that it is too soon to make a firm assessment. I am anxious to get the information as soon as it is available and I shall then consider what help can be given from public funds including the offer of financial assistance recently made by the EEC. The Highland Regional Council is sending me today a statement of its extra costs. I shall pay local authorities involved a special grant of 75 per cent. of their excess costs over a reasonable threshold. I have not received any representations so far from industry or the general public.

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