§ 2.35 p.m.
§ THE PAYMASTER GENERAL (THE EARL OF SELKIRK) rose to move, That the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (Colliery Workers Supplementary Scheme) Amendment Draft Order, 1955, reported from the Special Orders Committee on Wednesday last, be approved. The noble Earl said: My Lords, I beg to move that this Order be approved. The original scheme which the Order seeks to amend is the only one of its kind under the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, 1946, and it was approved by both sides of the mining industry in 1948. It has already been amended several times. The scheme broadly covers all colliery workers, underground or surface, who are employed by the National Coal Board or a small mine owner. It does not apply to clerical workers or to under-managers and upwards, or to anyone who is not in an employment certified as coming within the scheme by the Board and the National Union of Mineworkers. The contribution is 4d. a week for the employee, rather less for boys and women, and the National Coal Board contribute every month an amount equal to 4d. a ton on the total saleable tonnage of deep- 78 mined coal for that month. The scheme is under a National Committee, with five representatives from each side of the industry. The chairman is Sir Eric Coates, and a former President, Sir William Lawther, and the present Secretary, Mr. Horner, of the National Union of Mineworkers are also members.
§ The present amendment of the scheme will make the benefit in the case of injury under this supplementary scheme one-third of the new industrial injury benefit—that is, one-third of 67s. 6d.–22s. 6d. Supplementary disablement benefit, which is also 22s. 6d., will be calculated in the same way—that is, one-third of the industrial injury rate. The increase will become effective from May 19, the same date as the new rates for industrial injury benefits come into farce. The scheme is financed independently of the Industrial Injuries Act and imposes no charges either on the Industrial Injuries Fund or on the Exchequer. The estimated cost is £400,000 for the first year, rising to £700,000 per annum in twenty-five years' time. The Government Actuary is satisfied that the Fund can carry this additional burden without any change in the contribution rates. I am sure that your Lordships will welcome this improvement for those engaged in this very dangerous industry.
§ Moved, That the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (Colliery Workers Supplementary Scheme) Amendment Draft Order, 1955, reported from the Special Orders Committee on Wednesday last, be approved.—(The Earl of Selkirk.)
§ VISCOUNT HALL
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friends on this side of the House, I welcome this Order. It is an agreed Order. It is another sign of the good relations existing between both sides of the industry that agreements of this kind can be entered into, and we approve of it and welcome it.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.