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Gordon calls for ring-fenced compensation

Gordon calls for ring-fenced compensation for the uninsured

Council candidate Liz Gordon says that lessons need to be learned from Hurricane Katrina in providing funds to compensate earthquake victims.

“The assessment of Katrina that came out last month identified that most of the rebuilding funds went to relatively affluent people, and those with jobs and businesses.

“We are all victims together, but already there is evidence that there will be two-tier compensation of the Christchurch quake. Those of us with full insurance have access to the Earthquake Commission (EQC) fund, which is said to contain billions.

“Those without insurance will be provided for by an ill-defined Mayoral Relief fund, which is likely to have far more calls on it than the amount it will contain”.

Dr Gordon said that while people think they will be donating to the ‘have nots’ by giving to the fund, “there are likely to be enormous demands from the business sector which may mean that very little trickles down to the uninsured family”.

This may mean that those who have fewest resources will get the least, she said.

“The damage to Christchurch homes is primarily in the Eastern suburbs, covering some of the poorest areas in the city. Many of the worst affected live from hand to mouth anyway, and they may have no family resources to deal with the effects of the earthquake. They may have lost the little they have”.

Dr Gordon says that two things need to happen.

She is calling on the Government to alter the basis of the EQC to extend its cover to all citizens, not just those with Fire Insurance, even if this is a temporary measure.

Second, she is asking that the Mayoral Relief fund ring-fence its resources to provide compensation and re-housing for those with low incomes, including families with children and the elderly.

ENDS



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