Cod war trawlermen win compensation battle with the governmentThursday, May 10th, 2012
After a thirty year fight, trawlermen who lost their livelihoods and sources of income have won their battle for compensation against the British government.
The government has agreed to pay the ex-trawlermen £2.5m in compensation collectively, and has apologised for its previous mishandling of the compensation claims.
By all accounts 2500 ex-trawlerman will receive £1000 each. Prior to the compensation win the trawlermen had received no compensation payment of any kind for the loss of their incomes.
One of the winners, Roy Courtney, 85, said: “It’s been such a long time now that the people who get this money will just be pleased to finally have something to show for all their hard work.
“I lost out on the compensation scheme in 2009 because I was forced out of fishing one year earlier than the claim deadline of 1974.
“I spent almost 30 years working on the trawlers and it was the hardest work I ever did.
“It will just be nice to finally have something to show for it.”
Another ex-trawlerman Frank Phillipson, 74, said: “It’s quite something for anybody to apologise these days, so it’s good that the Government has even admitted it did something wrong.
“Nothing was made clear to us and a lot of people didn’t, and still don’t, understand what they were entitled to.
“It’s good that some people will get this money but it’s going to come late in life for a lot of them.”
The compensation and apology follows a ruling by the Parliamentary Ombudsman which states many ex-trawlermen missed out on compensation due to maladministration of the previous compensation scheme.
A Department for Business and Skills spokesman said: “Following the Parliamentary Ombudsman investigation into the running of the Icelandic Water Trawlermen Compensation Scheme 2009, we would like to apologise for the maladministration which her report has found.
“We agree with the report’s recommendation to pay £1,000 to those who applied to the 2009 scheme with a reasonable expectation of receiving compensation and we will be in contact with them in due course.”