HL Deb 17 May 1966 vol 274 cc891-2

3.10 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that this Order be now approved. This draft Scheme is made under the Industrial Diseases Benefits Acts 1951 and 1954, as amended by the Workmen's Compensation and Benefit (Amendment) Act 1965. The principal Acts provide for special schemes under which allowances are made available out of the Industrial Injuries Fund to assist men disabled by pneumoconiosis, byssinosis and certain other malignant diseases contracted as a result of their employment before 1948. These diseases develop so slowly that in almost all cases they become apparent too late for workmen's compensation to be claimed within the time limits of the old Act; that is to say, they are termed "time-barred men".

The Scheme is a simple amendment to enable the new allowances of £3 a week for exceptionally severe disablement to be paid to beneficiaries under the main Scheme who are eligible for it by virtue of their entitlement to constant attendance allowances at the intermediate or highest rates. The qualifying conditions for receiving constant attendance allowance at these rates are identical with those which are applied for a like purpose under the Industrial Injuries Act. Constant attendance allowance normally is not payable to a disabled person who is in a hospital or similar institution, because he will already be receiving the attendance which that allowance was devised to help pay for. But this rule does not apply to the new exceptionally severe disablement allowance, because its purpose is aimed at helping to mitigate the serious loss of faculty suffered by the patient.

The effect of this amendment will be to ensure that a man on the maximum weekly constant attendance allowance rate of £5 10s. 0d. will receive a further £3, making a total of £8 10s. 0d. The new allowance, unlike the constant attendance allowance, will be payable when the beneficiary is in hospital. I understand that there is only a small group who can benefit under this proposed amendment, but the administrative board responsible for operating the Scheme know who are the beneficiaries and will contact them as soon as the amending scheme is in force. I am sure your Lordships will agree that this proposal will lighten the burden of a category of sufferers, and I hope you will give it support. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Pneumoconiosis, Byssinosis and Miscellaneous Diseases Benefit (Amendment) Scheme 1966 be approved.—(Lord Sorensen.)

3.14 p.m.


My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Lord for his explanation of this matter, and to welcome the provision that is made, which implements the promise given by the noble Lord, Lord Bowles, on the Second Reading of the 1966 National Insurance Act, that Section 6 of that Act would be extended to cases of this kind. Although the cases are not numerous, it is obviously right that this extension should be made. The noble Lord has said that it is just a small group. I do not know whether he is in a position to tell us how many he estimates are affected. We should be glad to have this information, and we are pleased to think that they will benefit from this Order.


My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Lord for his remarks, and I would inform him that under this Scheme approximately thirty will benefit.

On Question, Motion agreed to.