HC Deb 22 November 2001 vol 375 cc395-6W
Adam Price

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the total amount of interest paid to sick miners and their dependants who have experienced delays in the payments of the amounts awarded them under the terms of the respiratory disease scheme; and whether the(a) Department and (b) the appointed claims handlers will be responsible for these interest payments. [16660]

Mr. Wilson

Under the claims handling agreement, signed by the Department and the solicitors acting for the claimants, interest on general damages is payable by the Department from the date of the receipt of the letter of claim. On special damages, interest is payable from either the date the loss occurred, or in some cases the date of receipt of the letter of claim. Loss of earnings are calculated at the appropriate court rate, and other heads of special damages are calculated at a reduced rate, reflecting the fact that these are assessed at present day values. Since interest runs to the date an offer is accepted and forms part of the offer, a separate figure is not recorded by the claims handlers.

Mr. Heath

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many former miners from the north Somerset coalfield have(a) applied for and (b) received compensation awards. [16321]

Mr. Wilson

In relation to respiratory disease, in the constituency of Somerton and Frome, IRISC, the Department's claims handlers, have registered 25 claims. Nine individual payments have been made to date, amounting to £33,139.

With regard to vibration white finger, there are two claimants in this region, of whom one has received a payment of £3,113.