Nearly three years on from the now infamous House of Lords decision in 2007 victims with pleural plaques are still unable to claim for compensation. There have been numerous false dawns with the Government always just on the verge of a decision only for it not to be made.

In 2009 we were promised a decision before the summer recess of Parliament. This was then put back to autumn. Winters came and still no decision.

This already follows the Scottish Parliaments decision to overturn the House of Lords. Despite the insurance industries cynical attempt to appeal the decision, the fact remains that if you live in Scotland you can claim and if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you cannot. Clearly this is wrong.

Momentum is gathering pace and it has been widely reported in the press that the Government is set to present a £70 million payment to assist those people who have asbestos related illnesses. The package will comprise of:

• Setting up a research centre for asbestos illnesses
• Insisting insurers fund compensation for victims where company’s insurers cannot be found.
• More money for sufferers of mesothelioma

Sadly it appears the Government is unwilling to overturn the 2007 ruling by the courts that people suffering with pleural plaques cannot recover damages. It was rumoured by the Unions that the Government are unwilling to overturn the decision largely because of their own liabilities to former government employees who have the condition and may have to pay millions by way of compensation.

It has been suggested that there may be a one off payment for pleural plaques sufferers who already had claims started in 2007 before the House of Lords decision came into affect. The government again has not confirmed this.deci