The government announced on 12 January that it will reduce the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme Levy to £23.2m or 2015/16. The levy was £32m in 2014/2015,
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We are very disappointed that the mesothelioma levy is being reduced
"Asbestos is the UK’s biggest workplace killer. Around 5,000 people die each year from mesothelioma and asbestos related lung cancer – 13 people for every day of the year.
“The government should maintain the levy at last year’s level and use any surplus to extend the compensation scheme to all victims of asbestos or for research into treatment.”
The government made a commitment during the passage of the Mesothelioma Bill to set a levy of at least 3% of gross working premium on insurers to fund the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payments Scheme.
This was a sum insurers said they could afford without passing costs on to customers. It could raise sufficient funding to guarantee 100% compensation for all future scheme applicants and provide compensation to victims of other asbestos diseases.
However, ministers are now only charging the insurers the cost of the scheme.