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Personal Injury Compensation

Volume 958: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he proposes to take about the recommendations on work injuries in the report of the Royal Commission on civil liability and compensation for personal injury.

My right hon. Friend has asked officials to undertake a general review of the industrial injuries scheme in the light of the Royal Commission's recommendations.The review will cover not only these recommendations but also other important areas of the scheme on which the Commission did not have specific detailed proposals to make, such as special hardship allowance. In the Government's view, the Commission's recommendations for changes in the industrial injuries scheme cannot be looked at in isolation from the rest of social security. Accordingly, I have asked that the review should take account of the way in which industrial injuries benefits fit in with other forms of social security. The Royal Commission's report did not extend to a comprehensive analysis of this kind, but I am sure it is needed. The industrial injuries scheme has remained virtually unaltered since its introduction 30 years ago.I expect this study to be completed by the spring. It will then form the basis of consultation with the TUC, CBI and others concerned with the future of industrial injuries provision. I am sure that any alterations in the structure of what is a well tried and tested scheme should be undertaken only following such informed consultation.The study will not cover the Royal Commission's recommendations about occupational diseases. As I told my hon.

Friend in my reply to him on 7th July, those recommendations have been referred to the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council for its advice.—[Vol. 933, c.

338.]