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Orders of the Day — Land Compensation Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 1972.

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Photo of Mr Geoffrey Rippon Mr Geoffrey Rippon , Hexham 12:00 am, 27th November 1972

I am sure that this is a problem which arises over the whole country in one way or another. I will come on to some of the detailed provisions of the Bill, but that problem of the tenant farmer is part of the landlord and tenant legislation, and some provisions were made in the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 which, I hope, dealt with the matter to some extent. It raises issues which, I think, are to some extent outside the scope of this Bill.

Home loss payments are provided for in Clauses 23 to 25 and will be made as of right to occupiers who have been living in a dwelling as their main residence for at least seven years before the date of their displacement.

In England and Wales the amount of the payment will be seven times the rateable value if the displacement occurs before 1st April next year, and three times if it occurs thereafter. In Scotland it will be six times the rateable value. In all three countries the upper limit of the payment will be £1,500. The reason for the dividing line in England and Wales is that 1st April is the date when the new valuations are in force, and an adjustment would, therefore, be needed to keep the payment before and after on a similar footing. I know there has been a suggestion that seven years is too long a qualification period, but the difficulty is that, in arrangements of the kind we are considering, a line has to be drawn somewhere, and we have sought a balance between the extra central and local government expenditure to be incurred, which, by using the seven years, is expected roughly to be about £18 million a year, and the time by which people can be said to feel the emotional wrench in having to move from one place to another with unfamiliar ties.