HC Deb 19 May 2004 vol 421 cc986-7W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the operational arrangements to allow full and final payments to be made in respect of the 23 February agreement on small mines claims will come into effect. [172738]

Nigel Griffiths

Agreement in principle on the accession of the small mines to the respiratory disease Claims Handling Agreement was reached on 23 February. The Department is in the process of finalising a Memorandum on Heads of Agreement with the claimants' solicitors and the small mines, and agreeing with them the necessary amendments to the dust model to enable final compensation payments to be calculated. It is hoped that the testing of the computer models will be completed and operational arrangements for the bulk of cases finalised by the end of July.