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Industrial Diseases: Compensation

Volume 456: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what total amount of compensation payments to mineworkers suffering from industrial diseases has been paid directly to claimants; what deductions have been made from these payments by solicitors; and what payments have been made directly to third parties including solicitors, unions and companies administering the scheme on behalf of the Government. (118456)

The Department does not deal directly with individual claimants but with their representatives. All payment cheques are therefore sent to those representatives. The Department pays those representatives separately for their costs and therefore there is no need for deductions by solicitors or others to cover legal costs.

The Department has been made aware that deductions have been made from those compensation payments in a limited number of cases. The Department however has no powers in this respect though it had made it clear that no deductions should ever be made without the agreement of the claimant. The Law Society has investigated a number of such cases and has taken action where it has been established that there has been a breach of the Law Society rules.

The total amount of compensation paid to mineworkers suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Vibration White Finger (VWF), and the total amounts paid to claimants' solicitors and third parties are shown in the table:

£ million

at 28 January 2007

At 1 December 2006

At 1 October 2006



Claimants Solicitors

Third Parties





Figures for third party payments include payments made to the Compensation Recovery Unit at Department of Work and Pensions.