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£8,000 payments proposed for nuclear test veterans 3 July 2008

THE payment of ex-gratia sums of £8,000 each to Island residents who were exposed as service personnel to nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s is to be proposed at the July sitting of Tynwald by Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK.

Mr Brown will move acceptance of a Council of Ministers report on the issue, produced in response to a Tynwald resolution in January this year initiated by Eddie Lowey MLC.

The Council of Ministers recommends that the Department of Health and Social Security take action to identify those nuclear test veterans who wish to receive support, and that Tynwald authorises the spending of up to £96,000 to cover payments.

The one-off tax free payments of £8,000 to veterans would be ‘in recognition of their contribution and the consequent mental anxiety they experienced.’ The sum would be paid on the basis of current residence in the Isle of Man, as were the ex-gratia payments to former POWs of the Japanese, approved by Tynwald in 2000.

The Chief Minister commented:

‘Bearing in mind the age of the nuclear test veterans, and what they have already been through, it is important that any scheme recognising their experience does not involve a long and stressful process of entitlement. A simple ex-gratia payment would seem to be the most appropriate approach.’

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