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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
Thalidomide campaign victory
Guy Tweedy
Guy Tweedy said he was out to win.
A North Yorkshire man affected by the drug Thalidomide has won a battle to stop the government taxing his and other victims' compensation.

Guy Tweedy, 42, of Harrogate, launched his campaign 18 months ago, meeting with MPs and urging people to write letters of support.

The Treasury has now declared that from the beginning of August the compensation will be tax exempt.

Mr Tweedy said: "I was out to win, not lose. I would have worn them down."

Mr Tweedy, who runs a property and billboard business, has both arms shortened because of the Thalidomide drug.

Hard work

The average payment per year for the 450 people affected by Thalidomide is 13,000.

He said: "It has been a lot of hard work. There have been 3,500 letters written to 125 MPs and I have travelled to London to meet with people dozens of times.

"I am highly delighted with the outcome. One MP said we would be lucky to get it done in 10 years and we got it in 18 months."

Countries such as Germany, France and Spain did not tax the compensation, he added.

The campaign was helped by London businessman Nick Dobrik who was also affected by the drug.

Mr Tweedy said: "I am quite able to manage with my disabilities. But there are people with no arms or legs who need the money for their income. It upset me that they had to pay tax."

Dr Martin Johnson, chairman of the Thalidomide Trust, said: "This change will make a big difference to many of our beneficiaries, particularly those who struggle to get by on the relatively small sums of money we are able to provide."


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