Clause 8 - Amount and payment of compensation

Part of Riot Compensation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 13th January 2016.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice 3:00 pm, 13th January 2016

It will. I completely agree morally that charitable donations should stay outside, whether from a lady putting 50p in a tin on the high street, as I know took place, or from some of our great businessmen coming together to offer help. I will set that in regulations. I hope that alleviates concerns on amendment 4.

On the £1 million cap, we have to be honest about what the Bill is for. It is a safety net for those who are not insured should a riot affect them and their businesses. Of course, if it is taxpayers’ money a limit has to be set somewhere, and 99% of all claims following the terrible riots that took place across the country in 2011 were below that limit. I am happy to share that information with colleagues before Report.

In looking at where to set the cap, we should not encourage people not to be insured or insurers to take the view that the state will pick up the cost for which they and businesses have responsibility. That is why we set the cap at £1 million. I will make the commitment today that that will be continually reviewed within regulations without the need for primary legislation. At the moment we have very low inflation nationally, although building and residential inflation is quite high, particularly in London. We will keep a close eye on that but there has to be a limit. There cannot be a blank cheque from the taxpayer; I think we all accept that.

In response to the shadow Minister’s point, if the money comes out of the police or Home Office budget, it is still taxpayers’ money and there is a limited amount available. I think £1 million is fair and we will keep it under review. We will also ensure that charitable donations, no matter where they come from, are exempt, and I will place that in the regulations for the Bill. I hope that the amendment will be withdrawn.