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24/02/2009

Trawlermen Consultation Launched

The Government today launched a consultation on its new scheme to compensate trawlermen who lost their livelihoods following the 1970s 'Cod Wars'.

The consultation runs until 22 May. The Government intends to open the new scheme to applications in the summer.

Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said: "We announced our intention to launch a new scheme before Christmas and now are keen to make sure that everyone has the chance to have their say on the details of the new scheme. We are inviting views on our proposals over the next twelve weeks and will consider these carefully before launching the new scheme in the summer.

"Under the new scheme, trawlermen who received less than they expected through the previous scheme will be able to apply for extra payments.

"Around 1,000 trawlermen should benefit, based on their aggregate service on vessels that fished in Icelandic waters. This means they will not have lost out if they took breaks from the industry."

The breaks rule in the previous scheme that ran from 2000 to 2002 was found to be unfair by the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Following a review, the Government has decided to run a new scheme based on aggregate service rather than continuous service as before.

Around £43 million was paid out to 4,400 former trawlermen and their dependents under the previous scheme. Up to £10 million is expected to be awarded under the new scheme.

Anyone who wants to have their say can do so by downloading the consultation from the Department for Business' website or by contacting 0845 015 0010.

(JM/BMcC)

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