My Noble Friend The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) has made the following Written Statement.
I am today announcing an increase to the tariff of payments made under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme which was introduced by the Mesothelioma Act in April 2014. I will shortly bring forward regulations to increase the tariff from 80% of average civil claims to 100% for those diagnosed on or after today’s date. While the uprating will apply to those diagnosed from today, the formal payment process will take effect when the regulations become law next month.
This uprating reflects our monitoring of the progress of the scheme. The number of claimants has proven to be below the level anticipated. I made it clear through the passage of the Mesothelioma Act that I planned to monitor the scheme to gauge the extent that the assumptions made when it was being set up had been borne out in practice and would also consider the impact on the insurance companies who pay for it.
It is already clear that the insurance industry, through its Employer Liability Tracing Office, is doing an increasingly good job at tracing insurance policies which means sufferers can more easily pursue compensators for a remedy. I am determined that this success is maintained, reinforced by regulation from the Financial Conduct Authority.
Following discussion with the insurance industry, I have agreed to introduce some additional administrative safeguards to ensure that we can all be confident that the scheme continues to act as we intended and remains a scheme of last resort. I am pleased to be able to agree to their requests.
This change reflects our on-going commitment to sufferers of this disease and their families.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords