Fraction of government aid paid to summer flood victims
Luxembourg’s government has so far only paid out a third of the total compensation claims lodged by households, businesses and farmers – comprising just 10% of the total funds made available - following devastating flooding last July, according to figures released on Wednesday.
The government had provided €12 million in assistance by mid-March, according to a joint response from five ministers to a parliamentary question. Requests for compensation totalling €34 million for damage were reported to authorities, the ministers said.
The amount paid out is a tiny percentage of the overall support package of €100 million announced by the government in the wake of the torrential downpours.
Just over half of the 634 households which applied for assistance have received funds to date, the ministers said. On average, each household was paid €16,000, totalling almost €6 million. 130 households had their request refused, while a similar number are still awaiting a decision.
In addition to the state aid scheme, almost €3 million was paid to affected households by private insurers, the figures showed.
Around €4.4 million in government aid was paid to companies, and more than €1 million in assistance was provided through the furlough scheme for those unable to work as a result of the flooding, with a further €1 million given to farmers and winemakers.
Just €80,000 was paid to communes, with a further €16 million in claims waiting to be assessed due to applications missing required documentation. Local authorities have until July 1 to submit a claim for compensation, the ministers said.
A new system to alert residents in case of extreme weather conditions is to be set up, the government announced in March, after it received strong criticism last year for failing to warn people about the floods.
One single alert will in the future be broadcast on to mobile phones, social media, press releases and sirens spread throughout the country.
Warnings last July appeared only on a government website that many people said they were not aware existed.
In October, the total cost of the damage was estimated by private insurers at €125 million, making it the most expensive event in the history of the insurance industry in Luxembourg, the ACA (l'Association des Compagnies d’Assurances et de Réassurances) said in a statement. Around 6,000 people had received compensation from insurance companies by that stage, ACA said.
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