Clause 2 — Eligible people with diffuse mesothelioma

Part of Mesothelioma Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 7th January 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury) 4:15 pm, 7th January 2014

I thank my hon. Friend.

Let me deal with the two amendments that deal with whether the compensation level is acceptable. For 28 years, I represented east Belfast—the inner part within the shadow of the shipyard—on Belfast city council, and I saw and represented, at disability living allowance tribunals and so forth, many people who had suffered as a result of exposure to asbestos in the shipyard. I have seen the suffering that they went through. I have gone into their houses and seen people who could hardly walk across a 12-foot wide living room, who could not climb the stairs and who knew that they were in for a horrible and painful death. Those are the sort of people we are talking about, and that is the outcome of the exposure to which they have been subjected. That is what we are dealing with.

I must say that I find it grossly offensive that people who qualify for 75% compensation under this scheme will have 100% of their benefits taken from them, yet that will be paid back to the insurance companies to try to “relieve the burden” on companies that already have the money to cover the costs. We should bear that in mind when we look at amendments 1 and 4, which provide for increasing the level of compensation.