New fund for workers exposed to asbestos

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THE government has announced a new £300m support fund for people suffering with cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Hundreds of people from the Portsmouth area have died from mesothelioma as a result of exposure. Many of the cases are former Portsmouth dockyard ship workers.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive suggest 400 people are diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease in the south east each year.

Now the Department for Work and Pensions has unveiled a new scheme to help mesothelioma victims who are unable to claim compensation because they cannot trace a liable employer or insurer.

Welfare minister Lord Freud said: ‘We have worked tirelessly together with the insurance industry to agree this package of measures on behalf of those who face this terrible disease.

‘The new scheme will mean that, for the first time, sufferers of diffuse mesothelioma, who cannot trace either a liable employer or employers’ liability insurer, will have access to extra payments.’