Shetlands (MV Braer Incident)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:25 pm on 11th January 1993.

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Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty , Falkirk East 4:25 pm, 11th January 1993

The Secretary of State will realise that the Opposition echo his compliments to the Shetland Islands council. I hope that he also understands that we applaud it for its work outside times of crisis because he has attempted to cut its budgets and staffing over a long period. There is therefore much cynicism about the vagueness with which he has answered questions on funding and compensation. The only sum that has been mentioned so far is £200,000 for the bridging fund. He has spoken of compensation and support for the voluntary organisations.

How much money is there in the fund? How much money will be made available? Will he let us know later on paper, or even state today, the level of compensation that will be given to the people of the islands? Will they be given complete compensation if money is not supplied by the international fund? What level of reinstatement can be expected? Will the fund ultimately turn out to be something to take the heat out of the issue, not enough to deal with the real problem of recompensing the people and reinstating their lifestyle?