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Clause 4 - Payments

Part of Mesothelioma Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 12th December 2013.

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Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 11:30 am, 12th December 2013

I thank colleagues and you, Mr Davies, for being present today, so that we can make good progress on the Bill.

My hon. and learned Friend makes an important point. In the circumstances he described, the compensation would go to the spouse. If the spouse or partner was not there, it would be equally divided among the other dependants. The reason why we have taken such an approach is that we do not want to bog down the administration of the fund with disputes between family members. We feel that that is something that should be done outside the administration. I understand his point, but I do not think that it will become a problem, especially given that the fund will pay to the spouse or partner.

With that clarification, I hope that my hon. and learned Friend will withdraw his amendment. Although I understand where he is coming from, we want to keep administration costs to a minimum and we do not want to get involved in disputes.