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11 Jul 2005 : Column 703W—continued

Miners' Compensation Scheme

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the 20 medical companies who have received the most in fees under the Miners Compensation Scheme for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and vibration white finger since 1999, broken down by amount received. [10462]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 7 July 2005]: The medical companies who have received fees under the Miners Compensations Schemes are as follows.
11 Jul 2005 : Column 704W

Total approximate fees paid
to date (£ million)
Capita Health Solutions2

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions have taken place between his Department and IRISC in relation to eliminating fraud under the Miners' Compensation Scheme since 1990. [10336]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 7 July 2005]: Detection of potentially fraudulent claims has formed part of the Department's claims handlers' role since the schemes began in 1999. A process for managing the risk of fraud is in place and the Department holds regular discussions with the claims handlers on the issue.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what training has been provided for officials on avoiding fraud under the Miners' Compensation Scheme in each year since 1999. [10337]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 7 July 2005]: Officials receive work-based training and guidance from external lawyers and consultants and the Department's own lawyers on fraud management on an ongoing basis.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the top 20 solicitors in terms of (a) fees paid, (b) claims registered and (c) claims outstanding for (i) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and (ii) vibration white finger deceased claims under the Miners' Compensation Scheme. [10344]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 7 July 2005]: The top 20 solicitors in each of the categories is as follows:
(a)(i) Fees for handling deceased COPD claims
£ million

Mark Gilbert Morse31.3
Hugh James Ford Simey28.3
Raleys Solicitors21.9
Beresfords Solicitors16.9
Browell Smith and Co13.7
Randell Lloyd Jenkins and Martin6.0
Watson Burton5.6
The Legal Warehouse5.4
Irwin Mitchell5.4
Wake Smith5.3
Ingrams Solicitors4.8
Towells Solicitors4.6
Moss Solicitors3.4
O. H. Parsons2.9
Birchall Blackburn2.7
Kidd and Spoor Harper Solicitors2.1
Barber and Co2.0

11 Jul 2005 : Column 705W

(a)(ii) Fees for handling deceased VWF claims

Browell Smith and Co549.0
Raleys Solicitors497.8
Hugh James Ford Simey369.7
Union of Democratic Mineworkers336.2
Watson Burton186.5
Moss Solicitors109.3
Irwin Mitchell106.8
Towells Solicitors103.6
Beresfords Solicitors96.4
AMS Law86.0
O. H. Parsons68.4
Kidd and Spoor Harper Solicitors67.4
Shaw and Co. Solicitors55.9
Randell Lloyd Jenkins and Martin19.3
Gorman Hamilton Solicitors15.4
Simpson Millar Solicitors11.4

(b)(i) Deceased COPD claims registered

Beresfords Solicitors50,929
Hugh James Ford Simey36,176
Mark Gilbert Morse23,974
Raleys Solicitors23,690
Browell Smith and Co.16,163
Barber and Co.9,991
Randell Lloyd Jenkins and Martin6,641
Delta Legal6,401
Birchall Blackburn5,784
Ingrams Solicitors5,559
Watson Burton5,234
BRM Solicitors4,939
AMS Law4,903
The Legal Warehouse4,643
Irwin Mitchell3,922
Wake Smith3,865

(b)(ii) Deceased VWF claims registered

Beresfords Solicitors2,784
Union of Democratic Mineworkers2,567
Hugh James Ford Simey1,730
Browell Smith and Co.1,528
Raleys Solicitors1,173
Towells Solicitors973
Moss Solicitors780
AMS Law744
Watson Burton601
Kidd and Spoor Harper Solicitors318
Randell Lloyd Jenkin and Martin314
The Legal Warehouse290
Irwin Mitchell276
O. H. Parsons220
Shaw and Co. Solicitors111
Ingrams Solicitors84

11 Jul 2005 : Column 706W

(c)(i) Deceased COPD claims outstanding

Beresfords Solicitors38,965
Hugh James Ford Simey24,628
Raleys Solicitors15,109
Mark Gilbert Morse11,179
Browell Smith and Co.10,246
Barber and Co.8,184
Delta Legal5,802
Birchall Blackburn4,513
BRM Solicitors4,366
Randell Lloyd Jenkins and Martin3,941
Ingrams Solicitors3,530
AMS Law3,323
Hilary Meredith Solicitors2,431
The Legal Warehouse2,419
Watson Burton2,284
1 Legal Solicitors2,061
Recompense Ltd.1,708

(c)(ii) Deceased VWF claims outstanding

Beresfords Solicitors973
Union of Democratic Mineworkers824
Hugh James Ford Simey791
Towells Solicitors519
Raleys Solicitors436
Browell Smith and Co.413
Moss Solicitors344
Randell Lloyd Jenkins and Martin167
The Legal Warehouse155
Irwin Mitchell116
Kidd and Spoor Harper Solicitors97
Shaw and Co. Solicitors62
O. H. Parsons58
Ingrams Solicitors25

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what role Ministers had in the decision to allow the Union of Democratic Mineworkers to process compensation claims directly under the coal health schemes. [9089]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 4 July 2005]: Following the judgments against British Coal in both the vibration white finger and respiratory disease litigations, the High Court ordered the DTI to set up schemes, in agreement with miners' solicitors, to assess compensation for both types of claim. Claims had by then been registered through the Claimants Solicitors Group (the CSG), some of which were sponsored by the main mining unions, the NUM and NACODS. The UDM had also registered a large number of claims directly on behalf of their members, through their dedicated claims handling company, Vendside Ltd. The CSG and the UDM were unable to work together or enter into single arrangements for historical reasons. Ministers agreed the DTI would negotiate the strategy with the UDM and Vendside in which the terms for compensation are the same as for the agreement with the CSG.
11 Jul 2005 : Column 707W

Petrol Prices

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to reduce the price of petrol. [10535]

Malcolm Wicks: The DTI closely monitors petrol price changes within the market, which recently have reflected high international oil prices.

While it is Government policy not to intervene in commercial price setting, because they believe that the consumer is best served by open competition between companies within the UK downstream oil sector, they do recognise the impact that high petroleum prices can have on various sectors. As a result they have acted by announcing that due to sustained volatility in the oil market the Government will not go ahead with the planned inflation increase on 1 September—including for rebated oils, biofuels and road fuel gases—and will review the position again at the time of the pre-Budget report.

The Government are also supporting efforts to improve stability in the international oil market by promoting greater market transparency and understanding, and encouraging greater investment throughout the global oil supply chain.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average price per litre of (a) unleaded petrol and (b) leaded petrol was in (i) Great Britain and (ii) the United States, together with the amount of tax paid per litre in each case, in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [10536]

Malcolm Wicks: Data are only available for unleaded petrol (95 RON specification) and for the United Kingdom not Great Britain. Prices in pence per litre are given as follows.

Prices in the United Kingdom
Prices in the United States
Including taxesTotal taxExcluding taxesIncluding taxesTotal taxExcluding taxes

International Energy Agency, Energy Prices and Taxes, Q1 2005.

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