The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Timms, and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, John Hutton, announced that the Government will bring forward legislation to ensure that at least 800 sufferers of asbestos related diseases are able to keep their full compensation.
The decision means that Turner and Newall workers (and other associated companies of the American Parent company Federal Mogul) will be exempt from a scheme that ensures compensators return benefit money paid by the state to the victims of accident or injury once the compensation is paid. This means there will be greater funds available to compensate this select group of workers.
John Hutton said:
?This is welcome news for the Turner and Newall workers affected by asbestos related illnesses. This decision means that we are now able to ensure that all the compensation money that can go to the people it is meant for ? will.
?These are terrible illnesses and it is absolutely right that we work to ensure we do our up most to relieve any unnecessary financial concerns from the sufferers and their families.?
Stephen Timms said:
“Today’s decision brings some real good news for people who have had to endure the terrible consequences of asbestos related illnesses.”
1. There are currently 800 cases which are likely to benefit from this decision, but this figure is expected to rise over the next 50 years. We estimate the cost will be ?10 million over the next 3 years but expect the cost ? in line with the rise in cases – to increase to ?40 million.
2. The compensation recovery scheme requires compensators to return to the DWP money paid as a direct result of the injury or accident that an individual is being compensated for. It is designed to ensure that the tax payer does not subsidise compensators and that victims do not receive money twice for the same injury or accident.
3. This case is different because the company in question has legally ring-fenced funds for the sole use of compensating these victims and the fund is already seriously depleted.
4. Federal Mogul has become insolvent under the United States of America?s insolvency legislation. As a result of this it is not in a position to meet, in full, its liabilities to its employees arising from asbestos related diseases. A Trust fund has been set up to meet part of these liabilities. The unprecedented step to exempt this particular Trust recognises the unique position in which former employers of Federal Mogul?s UK subsidiaries (Turner & Newall and associated companies) have found themselves.