Mineworkers' Compensation

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:00 pm on 28th September 2000.

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Photo of Lord McIntosh of Haringey Lord McIntosh of Haringey Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords) 3:00 pm, 28th September 2000

My Lords, the noble Lord is entirely right. That is why we are giving priority in this process to those who are old, to the widows of deceased miners and to those who are particularly ill. As to the issue of interim payments, I can tell the noble Lord that we have made a very large number of interim payments. We have offered such payments after spirometry tests. I am pleased to say that we have either made appointments for spirometry tests or have offered appointments to 91 per cent of those who are eligible, after which interim payments are available. However, not all miners wish to take up interim payments because they feel that they may receive more after further detailed consideration has been given to their cases. That is a legitimate point of view.