§ Sir Nicholas Fairbairn
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to recompense farmers of Scotland in the short term of flood damage and other losses caused by recent inclement weather.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
I have every sympathy for farmers who sustained damage from the latest storms and floods. Indeed, the floods are so recent that damage is still hidden by water so that many will not yet know the full extent of their losses. My noble Friend the Minister of State has called for full reports as soon as practicable. In the meantime, it is important to stress that successive Governments have followed well-established policy not to pay compensation to farmers for the effects of severe weather, particularly where risks are insurable. Assistance is however available under the farm capital grant schemes. These schemes will be operated as flexibly as the rules will allow to take account of the effects of the storms.