14 January 2009
Govt 'making mistake by defending itself against miners' compensation claims'
The government is making a mistake by defending itself against compensation claims brought by miners, a politician has said.
According to John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire, such a defence is "an absurd waste of public money", the Guardian reports.
Around 1,000 miners are taking their case to the high court in London.
Some of the former pit workers suffer from a condition referred to as "miners' knee", which causes symptoms such as pain, swelling and stiffness.
The injury is a result of kneeling down for long periods of time and of walking across uneven ground with heavy loads.
Meanwhile, other workers have lung diseases which were precipitated by the inhalation of dust.
Mr Mann said: "Instead of fighting them, [the government] should create a simple non-legalistic scheme that would compensate miners with a modest amount of money for things like the breathing equipment they need."
He added that the Labour administration is repeating the mistakes of the past in failing to create such a scheme.