Prime Minister to review compensation for veterans exposed to asbestos

6th November 2015

David Cameron has said the way army veterans are compensated will be reviewed after the issue was highlighted during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Labour MP Dave Anderson noted that veterans who are suffering from mesothelioma are often treated worse than civilians. Many die on just their war pension, as the law prevents the Ministry of Defence (MoD) from being sued for any injury or illness caused before 1987. In fact, it’s estimated that around 2,500 Royal Navy veterans will die after being exposed to asbestos on ships many years ago, reports independent.co.uk.

David Cameron responded by stating that the Defence Secretary is currently looking into the issue.

Chris Simpkins, director general of The Royal British Legion, welcomed the decision.

“The fact that veterans could receive around £15,000 less in compensation than their civilian counterparts is a clear breach of the Armed Forces Covenant,” he said. “We look forward to the Government coming forward with a solution soon.”

Several veterans with the disease have also said how pleased they are that the Prime Minister will help ensure that people who have served are properly compensated. However, Mr Anderson noted that action is needed and not just “warm words”, adding that all obstacles which are preventing access to compensation must be removed.