7 November 2000
Minister rules out flood compensation
By FWi staff
FARMERS whose land and crops have been damaged by some of the worst floods to hit Britain in 400 years can expect no Government compensation.
Junior farm minister Elliot Morley told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme that there was no mechanism to help out farmers.
“There is no facility for that kind of compensation; we cannot help with insurable risks,” he said.
Instead, an extra 51 million is to be spent on defending urban areas and funding catchment studies, said Mr Morley.
He added that the Government would help with additional local authority expenditure in rehousing and clean-up costs.
These payments would be automatic and funded 100%, and advance payments would be made available to tackle damage.
Mr Morley said it was possible that some of the cash could be spent on raising rural roads, but it would have to be considered cost-effective.
Meanwhile, the NFU Mutual says it expects to pay out up to 15m in insurance to farmers affected by the floods.
A spokesman said 1000 claims had been received, mostly relating to storm damage, and a further 3000 were anticipated.
He said NFU Mutual agents were taking a pro-active stance to ensure that farmers received their payments quickly.
Heavy rain overnight across many parts of England and Wales has seen further flooding in already flood-affected parts of England, reports the Environment Agency.
Currently there are 45 Severe Flood Warnings across 41 rivers in England and Wales.
Persistent driving rain has been forecast for much of northern Britain on Tuesday, with the worst weather expected to spread from Northern Ireland and Scotland into northern England.
For latest updates contact the Environment Agency Floodline on 0845 988 1188.