Contaminated Blood and Blood Products

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:38 pm on 24th November 2016.

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Photo of Nicola Blackwood Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 1:38 pm, 24th November 2016

I would like to move on to some other issues because we are quite tight for time.

I would like to talk about the budget that has been allocated, because it has been mentioned on a number of occasions. The pressures on the health budget will come as no surprise to anyone here today—we had an animated debate about that just this week. I would like to assure everybody in the House that, even in the context of those pressures, we fought hard to protect the money for this scheme through tough budget negotiations so that we could fulfil commitments that were made and ensure that the concerns of those affected are addressed as far as possible.

In that context, I would like to talk in a little more detail about some of the concerns that have been raised today by colleagues. Colleagues have rightly raised the issue of support for the bereaved and those relying on discretionary payments. That is why we have introduced the one-off payment of £10,000 to bereaved partners or spouses of primary beneficiaries, where infection contributed to the primary beneficiary’s death, and in recognition of their relationship at the time of death.