HC Deb 15 July 1953 vol 517 cc2186-7

10.1 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Insurance (Mr. R. H. Turton)

I beg to move, That the Draft National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (Colliery Workers Supplementary Scheme) Amendment Order, 1953, a copy of which was laid before this House on 6th July, be approved. This draft Order amends the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Colliery Workers Supplementary Scheme. This scheme was made in 1948, and is a contributory scheme providing supplementary benefits for persons receiving industrial injuries benefit in respect of colliery accidents and diseases.

Under Section 83 of the Industrial Injuries Act, 1946, any body of persons claiming to represent insured persons and their employers in any industry may submit a scheme providing for supplementing the benefits of injured workmen, and under the same section the Minister may amend a supplementary scheme if he is so requested by the body charged with the administration of the scheme.

This scheme is administered by a national committee formed from representatives of the National Coal Board, the Federation of Small Mineowners of Great Britain, the National Union of Mine-workers, the National Association of Colliery Overmen Deputies and Shot-firers, and other colliery workers. It is this national committee that has agreed upon and requested the Minister to make these amendments.

There are four main amendments. The first, to secure that the scale of the supplementary injury benefit is 20s. per week for those over 18 and for those under 18 with a dependant, 15s, per week, for those between 17 and 18, and 10s. for those under 17. The second is to increase the supplementary disablement pension for those with 100 per cent. assessments from 18s. 4d. to 20s. if over 18 or below 18 with a dependant, from 13s. 9d. to 15s. if between 17 and 18, and from 9s. 3d. to 10s. if below 17. The third is to increase the rate of supplementary widows pensions for widows below the age of 40 from 5s. to 6s. 3d. per week. The fourth is to provide a supplement to disablement gratuities at the rate of one-quarter of the basic gratuity.

The scheme is financed quite independently of the Industrial Injuries Act and imposes no charges on either the Industrial Injuries Fund or the Exchequer. The cost of these amendments, which will be borne by the Colliery Workers Supplementary Scheme Fund, is estimated at £275,000 a year. This includes consequential amendment to other schemes which are financed from the fund. The Government Actuary, who acts as actuary to the scheme, is satisfied that the fund can carry the additional burden. I therefore ask the House to approve this Order.

Question put, and agreed to.