Compensate Naomi House, Government urged

Mark Oaten MP presses for charity that lost millions in the collapse of Icelandic banks to be repaid

Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten has called on the Government to compensate children's hospice Naomi House, which lost £6m in the Icelandic banking crisis.

Speaking during a House of Commons debate this week, Oaten said he understood why the Government had refused to compensate all charities that lost money in Icelandic banks, but said he would like to see the Government make an exception in the case of Naomi House and other charities that carry out work the Government might otherwise have to do.

He said charities such as Naomi House, which is in his Hampshire constituency, should be judged in a different way from other charities that had lost large amounts of money, such as Cats Protection.

"Charities that do the work of the Government should be seen in a different light," Oaten said. "In my judgement, a children's hospice should be regarded as being in a different category from a cat lovers' charity.
"I would ask the minister to take the issue back to the Department of Health and to think carefully about the consequences of not supporting the hospice," said Oaten.

"Taking £6m out of that service will mean an enormous demand from sick children that will have to be met by the NHS, because Naomi House may not be able to fulfil its responsibilities."

He said the Government had recognised that Naomi House was carrying out government work because it had provided it with £300,000 in annual funding.

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