§ Mr. Evans
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many outstanding payments there are under schemes A and B for pistol compensation; 
(2) what is the expected date when everyone will have been paid their compensation for pistols under schemes A and B; 
(3) what is the total amount of money which remains to be paid under schemes A and B for pistol compensation. 
§ Mr. Michael
Payments under Options A and B of the large calibre handgun compensation scheme and the parallel ex gratia surrender scheme for small calibre pistols were completed at the end of May, apart from around 300 cases which could not be concluded because inquiries were outstanding. This number has since been reduced to around 130, and will continue to fall as the outstanding matters are dealt with.
Around 11,000 claims have been received under the statutory surrender scheme for small calibre pistols, some 8,300 of which have been registered on the Firearms Compensation Section computer system. Seven thousand two hundred and fifty of the registered claims have an Option A or B element. Substantive processing of these claims will begin when further progress has been made with the remaining Option C claims under the large calibre scheme. Until the claims have been examined in detail it is not possible to give their value or a firm date for their completion. I outlined progress on all the firearms compensation schemes in the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Thanet, North (Mr. Gale) on 8 June 1998, Official Report, columns 438–39.
§ Mr. Mackinlay
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons it has not been possible to meet the claims in full of Mr. A. Haines of Little Thurrock ref ESS E 097444 of 19 September 1997 and ESS SB17944410 of 10 February 1998; what is the cause of the delay in processing these claims; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Michael
The Option A and B elements of the claim of 19 September 1997 were paid on 26 March 1998, with an additional payment on 28 May 1998. The Option C element of the claim, which will require individual 553W consideration of the evidence of value provided, will be dealt with as soon as possible. The claim of 10 February 1998 is under the separate statutory surrender scheme for small calibre pistols. These claims are currently being registered on the Firearms Compensation Section computer system, and substantive work on them will begin when the overall work position permits. I outlined the position on both schemes in the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Thanet, North (Mr. Gale) on 8 June 1998, Official Report, columns 438–39. As he will recall, I wrote to him and to all hon. and right hon. Members on 30 January to outline progress on the payment of compensation claims under the Firearms Act. As I have said on many occasions, these claims inevitably take time to process because of the wide-ranging and generous nature of the firearms compensation schemes which Parliament approved.