Wel­come for new ‘quick’ pay­ment flood re­lief

Scheme

The Corkman - - NEWS - BILL BROWNE

THE gov­ern­ment has rub­ber stamped a new pay­ment scheme that will see unin­sured small busi­nesses and lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions across north and mid- Cork re­ceive an au­to­matic pay­ment to off­set the cost of flood dam­age.

The Per­ma­nent Flood Re­lief Scheme will al­low suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants that have hereto­fore been re­fused flood in­sur­ance to claim a ‘quick’ pay­ment that will be capped at €5,000.

How­ever, should the cap not meet the needs of some ap­pli­cants, there is scope within the scheme for a fur­ther pay­ment of up to €15,000 af­ter a more de­tailed as­sess­ment of the to­tal loss in­curred. The ini­tia­tive – which was brought be­fore cab­i­net by De­fence Min­is­ter Paul Ke­hoe and the Min­is­ter Busi­ness, En­ter­prise and In­no­va­tion Heather Humphreys – is de­signed to give fi­nan­cial aid to small busi­ness, vol­un­tary, com­mu­nity and sport­ing bod­ies in flood-prone ar­eas.

In the past, the De­part­ment of De­fence had op­er­ated tem­po­rary hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­port schemes in con­junc­tion with the Ir­ish Red Cross fol­low­ing in­ci­dents of flood­ing.

Four such schemes, which op­er­ate on an ad-hoc ba­sis, have been opened since 2015 to help off­set the dam­age caused by ex­treme weather events such as Storm Ophe­lia, which wreaked havoc across parts of Cork last Oc­to­ber.

The in­tro­duc­tion of the new scheme has been wel­comed by Kan­turk/Mallow area county coun­cil­lor John Paul O’Shea (FG), who said it would tar­get sole traders and small busi­ness and vol­un­tary, com­mu­nity and sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“It will be of great as­sis­tance to them in help­ing to deal with the aftermath of the kind of flood events that we know will be­come in­creas­ingly com­mon into the fu­ture,” said Cllr O’Shea.

“The scheme will be de­mand-led when th­ese groups ex­pe­ri­ence flood dam­age to their premises and equip­ment and where they have been re­fused flood in­sur­ance.”

He said the Red Cross would con­tinue to ad­min­is­ter ap­pli­ca­tions for flood re­lief as­sis­tance in ac­cor­dance with a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with The De­part­ment of Busi­ness, En­ter­prise and In­no­va­tion.

“This new scheme will put th­ese sup­ports on a more per­ma­nent foot­ing giv­ing as­sur­ances to those who need as­sis­tance that it will be forth­com­ing,” he said.

Cllr John Paul O’Shea (FG).

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