HL Deb 19 December 1985 vol 469 cc938-9

2.9 p.m.

Lord Trefgarne

My Lords, I beg to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 19th November be approved. With your Lordships' permission, I should like at the same time to speak to the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) (Payment of Claims) Regulations 1985. These instruments are to be made under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) Act 1979. The specified diseases order adds two additional diseases to those covered by the Act. The payment of claims regulations increase by 5 per cent. the amounts of compensation paid under the Act to those who first satisfy all the eligibility conditions on or after 1st January 1986. I shall be glad to answer any detailed questions that your Lordships may have on these instruments. In the meantime, I beg to move.

Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 19th November be approved. [3rd Report from the Joint Committee.]—(Lord Trefgarne.)

Lord McCarthy

My Lords, in the general climate of Christmas good cheer I should like to thank the noble Lord for his explanation, in particular of the first order that we have to consider, which we fully support. Let me also say, since I think that I heard him say during the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Bruce, that he had been reduced to second-hand nightwear, that I hope that he gets some for Christmas. We have no point to make on the first order. On the second matter, the regulations, I should like to ask the Government from where they get the 5 per cent. What is the basis on which there will be an increase in the payment of claims maximum of 5 per cent.?

Lord Trefgarne

My Lords, we have to strike a balance between the ability of employers to make those payments—and it is generally for them, of course—and the desirability of meeting the increase in costs in other areas. I may add that I understand that my right honourable friend has it in mind to review those amounts on a more regular basis in the future, which I hope will reassure the noble Lord.

On Question, Motion agreed to.