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 Ezra Lord Ezra Liberal Democrat 3:00 pm, 28th September 2000

My Lords, the noble Lord has made it clear that Ministers share the concern of all of us who know something about the coal industry--and, indeed, of many others--as regards this prolonged delay in settling such a serious issue. Can he say, even at this late stage, whether the Government have considered proceeding along the lines of the settlement achieved in the pneumoconiosis crises that occurred some 20 or 30 years ago when I was involved with the Coal Board? I realise that legal problems may make that difficult. None the less, that matter was settled much more quickly and expeditiously, without the sort of personal problems that have now arisen in this case.