HL Deb 17 February 1997 vol 578 c32WA
Lord Harris of Greenwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the statement attributed to "official sources" in the Independent of 5 February and other papers, that the cost to public funds of the amendment on compensation moved by Lord Lester of Herne Hill to the Firearms (Amendment) Bill would be £350 million, was authorised by any Minister of the Crown; and whether this figure is now regarded as an accurate estimate, notwithstanding the refusal of Ministers to give such a figure to Parliament.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch)

The reports refer to guidance given by Home Office officials in response to press enquiries concerning shooting organisations' estimates of the compensation which would be payable under the Firearms (Amendment) Bill. The guidance was intended to give an assessment of the potential scale of compensation and was not presented as a final and accurate estimate.