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Industrial Injuries and Diseases

Part of Orders of the Day — Social Security Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 20th May 1986.

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Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree 6:30 pm, 20th May 1986

I recognise that the proposals are not exactly the same as those in the White Paper. We have modified them to take account of developments and of other considerations, including the proposals for disabled people in other parts of the Bill.

My hon. Friend the Member for Sherwood (Mr. Stewart) also raised a point about multiple accidents. It is a sad fact that many miners suffer several accidents over a period, and they also suffer from chest diseases such as pneumoconiosis. I hope that it is clear to my hon. Friend that we shall add together the effects of all industrial injuries and pay benefit if the total disablement is 14 per cent. or more. There are specific proposals in the Bill for bringing together successive disabling or damaging accidents in the way that I have described.

We have given this issue careful consideration. We recognise the points made, but we have been concerned to look at the needs of the most severely disabled to ensure that the industrial injuries scheme is as effectively focused as possible on that group, and to take a small but useful step towards fairer treatment as between sick and disabled people — whatever the causes of their sickness or disability—and the other proposals in the Bill.