Mesothelioma Bill – Second Reading

The Mesothelioma Bill received its second reading in the House of Commons tonight and now goes to the Committee stage for consideration. I will save doing a detailed post on the Bill until its Third Reading, the final stage before it is passed into legislation. The debate on the Bill’s second reading was made up almost entirely of members of Parliament from both sides of the House of Commons arguing that changes to the Bill need to be made. The main changes advocated relate to the level of payments that will be made to victims and their families; the date from when claims may be made; and, the inclusion of other asbestos conditions in the compensation scheme. The issue of medical research into mesothelioma and its funding was also very prominent in the debate. It seems the Government is keen to rush through the legislation before the Christmas break. The Government Minister, Mike Penning, claimed this would ensure that victims receive the compensation as soon as possible. However, the timetable the Government have put forward means that after the Committee stage takes place, there will be a limited amount of time available for debate at third reading, leading to the suspicion that the Government are not keen on further discussion and want the Bill passed in its current form with few amendments.

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