Following on from the closure of the UK government pleural plaques compensation scheme for England & Wales on 1 August, The Northern Echo newspaper reported today that the UK government has quietly dropped plans to create a fund of last resort for asbestos sufferers. The proposed Employers Liability Insurance Bureau (largely to be funded by the insurance industry) would have made provision to compensate former workers unable to trace the employers who exposed them to asbestos.

In a further blow, the Echo also reports that the proposal to fund a national research centre for asbestos related disease has been scrapped. Jim Kennedy, the political officer of the UCATT union of construction workers, said: “The government is betraying people with mesothelioma…..” Please click here to read The Northern Echo story in full.

Phyllis Craig MBE, Chair of CAA, added: “CAA has campaigned for many years to ensure that compensation is made available to sufferers where there is no insurer to sue. We have also called for more funding for research and a national centre of excellence. We believed the UK government was also committed to those fair and just proposals and will seek urgent clarification on this.

It seems a cruel irony, that at the same time the insurers are arguing in the Supreme Court (concerning the Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions) (Scotland) Act 2009) that their rights have been breached, we have a situation in the last two weeks where the rights of those who suffer from asbestos related diseases have been eroded and undermined yet further by the UK government: No to compensation for pleural plaque sufferers in England & Wales: No to an Employers Liability Insurance Bureau? and No to a national research centre? We hope that UK government will clarify its position and that the powerful insurance lobby has not succeeded yet again in denying justice to the victims of asbestos.”

 

One Response to Asbestos Sufferers ‘betrayed’ by UK Government

  1. Whitefen says:

    The UK government has betrayed them a long time ago already.
    Formal medical research unambiguously linking asbestos dust inhalation to death by pulmonary pathology has been available in the 1920ies and earlier.
    “Occurrence of Pulmonary Fibrosis & Other Pulmonary Affections in Asbestos Workers” was presented to the UK parliament in 1930, with such irrefutable conclusions.
    Yet that abestos thing was allowed to go on, and only in the 70 were radical measure put in place and asbestos vilified.

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