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Far East War Prisoners

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people have been (a) paid, (b) refused and (c) are awaiting a decision on payments under the Far East Prisoners of War Ex-Gratia Payments Scheme (i) in total, (ii) under the blood link criterion and (iii) under the 20 year rule. (95622)

[holding answer 23 October 2006]: The position as at 20 October 2006 is as follows:

Claims paid

Rejected

Awaiting decision

Total claims (includes both Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees)

25,293

6,880

369

Civilian claims considered under the 20-year UK Residence criterion1

86

0

87

Civilian claims considered under the Birthlink criterion1

1,186

2, 31,194

3

1 Military claims are considered under separate criteria with respect to definition of the required close link to the United Kingdom.

2 Rejections under the Birthlink criterion include cases where the claimant:

was not British; or

failed to meet either the initial criterion based on eligibility under the1950s scheme that made payments from liquidated Japanese assets or the Birthlink criterion introduced in March 2001; or

did not provide evidence to show that he or she was interned in a recognised camp.

3 Since March 2006, a number of these rejections have been eligible for reconsideration under the 20-year UK residence criterion and a number have claimed and received an award; the precise number affected in this way is not known since we do not routinely collect information on the Birthlink criterion; however, we would expect most of the 86 claims accepted under the 20-year UK residence criterion to have been rejected previously and further consideration of claims under this criterion are expected to reduce the number of rejections further.