Delay to Guernsey cancer compensation scheme is 'unnecessary, destructive and cruel'

Credit: ITV Channel TV

A delay to Guernsey's cancer compensation scheme has been described as "unnecessary, destructive and cruel" by one of the island's politicians.

Last year politicians agreed to set up a compensation scheme for people with mesothelioma – an asbestos-related cancer, to which there is no cure.

It was estimated the initiative would cost the States £100,000 a year and was scheduled to start in 2021. But the Policy and Resources Committee is seeking to delay the scheme, stating it supports the principle but not the timing.

Deputies Jonathan Le Tocq and Jane Stephens have placed a motion to put the scheme on hold so it can be considered ‘in context with other funding priorities in the post-Covid era’.

The motion states that since the principle was agreed last year and the policy letter was prepared in the first quarter of this year "the States’ financial position has been significantly affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic".

Deputy Matt Fallaize, who led the campaign, says moves to delay the scheme are ‘indefensible on every level'.

Deputy Fallaize acknowledges that the Committee is dealing with a difficult situation but says "they have got this very badly wrong".

The issue will be debated in the States next week.