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Rowen Questions PM on Pleural Plaques

November 4, 2009 12:00 AM

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen puts the PM on the spot!Paul Rowen, MP Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Minister, questioned the Prime Minister on the issue of reinstating compensation for asbestos-related pleural plaques. The government has been delaying the publication of a statement into the issue of compensation.

In answer to a question asked by Paul in the House of Commons at Prime Minister's Questions today, the Prime Minister indicated that he would be meeting a group of MPs on 27th November and a statement would be made after that.

When questioned in April Gordon Brown indicated that: "It is right that we look again at this as a result of legal actions that have been taken about the obligations of insurance companies. The Justice Secretary will make a statement on this when we return after Easter."

However, it is now November and there still has been no statement on whether compensation for pleural plaques victims will be reinstated.

Paul recently spoke at the third reading of a Private Members Bill restoring compensation payments for asbestos-related conditions, and was pleased to see it pass. He pressed the Government to allow it time to pass through the Commons, but currently this looks unlikely to be allowed to happen.

Paul Rowen, MP for Rochdale, commented: "It is unacceptable that the Government are still delaying reinstating pleural plaques compensation.

We are tired of waiting for the Government to get their act together. The TUC were in Parliament only last week to rally on this issue, and campaigning groups across the country are waiting for an answer.

We know that there is a relationship between pleural plaques and asbestos-related diseases. When the courts dealt with these cases before 2004, they accepted that relationship. In 99 per cent of cases, exposure has been negligent and should be compensated by employers."