HC Deb 27 April 1988 vol 132 cc183-4W
Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many applications for review he has received from farmers in Wales claiming to have suffered losses as a result of the Chernobyl disaster but who had not been compensated under the Government's scheme; if he will give the date range when these applications were made; if each such application was considered individually; on what date a decision was taken on them; how many of these applications he has rejected; and if he will make a statement on the general pattern of the defects in the applications which led to their rejection.

Mr. Peter Walker

On 11 January 1988 the National Farmers Union in Wales presented to my Department 56 cases that it considered to have been inadequately compensated by the direct losses scheme under the Chernobyl compensation arrangements. The evidence submitted by the union did not reveal any special problems or anomalies not already covered by the existing compensation arrangements. The union also confirmed that no new principles of compensation had been identified. I wrote to the chairman of the NFU in Wales on 23 March 1988 rejecting the 56 cases.

A detailed examination of those individual cases showed that they fell into four broad categories:

  1. (i) 10 cases where the producers concerned received compensation under the direct losses scheme in amounts varying from £191 to £3,672, but where the producers concerned alleged that they had incurred greater costs than the compensation they had received;
  2. (ii) 25 cases where the producers received compensation under the scheme in amounts from £275 to £3,312 but where they were claiming more because they sold only a proportion of their animals in the three week qualifying period and as a result considered that not all their costs had been compensated;
  3. (iii) 17 cases where the producers concerned received no compensation under the direct losses scheme since they sold their animals outside the qualifying period;
  4. (iv) Four cases which fell outside the terms of the scheme.

A primary objective of the compensation arrangements was to get money to the affected producers as quickly as possible and it was agreed by the farming unions that this made it impossible to deal with all cases on an individual basis. It was similarly agreed that the inevitable consequence of this approach was that the compensation could not be matched precisely to the amount that might have been lost in every individual case. This agreement pointed firmly to the conclusion that the 10 cases in category (i) should be rejected.

The 42 cases in categories (ii) and (iii), were based upon sales outside the three-week rule of the agreed scheme and had to be rejected. The NFU accepted this principle at a meeting with me on 28 September 1987.

Finally, the remaining cases in category (iv) fell entirely outside the terms of the agreed scheme. In one case, the producer chose to keep extra animals on his holding; the second claim related to the monitoring and marking scheme and the remaining two claims were for alleged price blight on animals sold clean after derestriction. There was no basis for those claims to be considered within this review.

Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many farmers in Wales have received compensation arising from losses following the Chernobyl disaster; and what has been the total amount of money paid in Wales by way of such compensation.

Mr. Peter Walker

As at 15 April 1988, a total of £3,323,948.61 has been authorised for payment covering 6,808 claims from farmers in Wales.

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