Yesterday Tracey sought to amend the Mesothelioma Bill before Parliament, which will introduce a scheme to make it easier for mesothelioma sufferers to access compensation. This is an important issue in Medway which is a “hotspot” for the asbestos-related disease and one that Tracey has been outspoken on, supporting improvements to the Bill designed to benefit suffers of mesothelioma further.
· Firstly, Tracey supported the introduction of a levy on the insurance industry to help ensure research into mesothelioma which at the moment, is poorly understood.
Tracey said: “Mesothelioma is undeniably a dreadful condition and research into it is shamefully underfunded. We anticipate more people will be diagnosed over the coming years, from all occupational backgrounds, so it would be helpful to have a strong commitment from the Minister —albeit one recognising that this is not wholly his departmental responsibility—that there will be progress in trying to discover a cure and/or suitable treatment to relieve the horrible suffering from mesothelioma.
· Secondly, Tracey attempted to increase the level of compensation that would be made available to mesothelioma suffers under the Bill, from 75% of average civil compensation to 80%.
Tracey said: “Although an extra 5% compensation does not sound very much, it is the equivalent of an average extra £6,000 to the victim, which is no small sum to someone trying to finalise their financial arrangements before they pass away. To those of us who seek justice on their behalf, that seems a much fairer figure….
While neither amendment was successful in being added to the Bill, Tracey will continue to campaign for justice for mesothelioma sufferers.
Copies of Tracey’s speeches in the House of Commons can be found here http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140107/debtext/140107-0002.htm#140107-0002.htm_spnew4 and here
and for further information on the Mesothelioma Bill please visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/house-of-commons-25642998.
*Tracey worked closely on improving this Bill with the Labour MP Paul Goggins, a long-term campaigner for justice for mesothelioma sufferers, who has very sadly died in hospital today.