HC Deb 18 December 2001 vol 377 cc261-2W
Mr. Clapham

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many chronic obstructive pulmonary disease claims have been registered, broken down by coalfield area; how many live claimants there are; and how many(a) widows and (b) estates are claiming. [22233]

Mr. Wilson

[holding answer 12 December 2001]: In collating statistics, the Department does not normally distinguish between estate claims for widows and others. In the time given, these figures are not available. IRISC, the Department's claims handlers, have registered claims in the following regions:

Region Number of live claims Number of estate claims
Wales 18,319 16,858
Scotland 7,582 5,478
Nottinghamshire 16,623 4,444
Yorkshire 31,447 13,117
North East 11,991 12,760
North West 5,371 3,803
Midlands 10,500 5,394
South 2,517 1,501
Other 756 307
Total 105,106 63,662

Regional statistics and headlines statistics are available on the Department's website on www.dti.gov.uk/coalhealth.

Mr. Clapham

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many miners claiming chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been diagnosed by Health Call to be suffering with asthma, broken down by coalfield area; and how much money has been paid to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease claimants, broken down by coalfield area, showing how many(a) final and (b) expedited settlements have been made; and how many interim payments have been made. [22232]

Mr. Wilson

[holding answer 12 December 2001]: The court judgment did not accept that asthma can be caused by working in mining, but acknowledged that it may be made worse temporarily by coal dust or fumes. Under the Handling Agreement, the sum of £2,500 will be paid for temporary exacerbation of asthma plus interest. This sum is not subject to apportionment and is paid following full medical assessment. Interims and expedited offers are not applicable in this category. To date nine claimants have been diagnosed as having temporary exacerbation of asthma only (with no other accompanying compensatable disability), broken down as follows:

Region Number of claimants Damages paid (£)
Nottinghamshire 2 5,298
Derbyshire 2 5,343
South Wales 1 2,703
Leicestershire 1 2,594
Leeds 1 2,673
West Yorkshire 1 2,763
Tyne and Wear 1 2,627