Victory in Dupuytren’s Contracture Campaign
Easington MP Grahame Morris has welcomed a Government u-turn in recognising Dupuytren’s Contracture as an industrial disease following a four and a half year campaign.
Dupuytren’s Contracture causes the fingers to curl over into a claw-like state and can lead to amputation. Known as ‘Miner’s Claw’, the incurable condition is common among former mineworkers.
In May 2014, the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) recommended that the Government recognise the condition as an industrial disease, but the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) refused to do so.
As part of this week’s budget, the Government announced that Dupuytren’s Contracture will be added to the list of prescribed diseases for which Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is payable.
The decision will come into effect in April 2019, and eligible claimants are expected to gain on average an extra £1,200 per year.
Easington MP Grahame Morris said:
“The Government have ignored the recommendations of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council for four and a half years without cause or justification.
I am pleased mineworkers in my constituency, who sacrificed their health in the coal industry, will receive the support they require.
Coalfield communities have shown immense patience and perseverance with a Government intent on blocking and delaying any proposals to help former mineworkers.
I am delighted we have secured a successful outcome, and I will continue to work with former miners in my constituency as we fight over historic injustices involving the Mineworkers Pension Scheme and the unfair Surplus Sharing Arrangements.”
As recent as March 2018, in written answers to Mr Morris, Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Disabled People, justified the decision to block the inclusion of Dupuytren’s Contracture on the list of prescribed diseases, stating:
“The Secretary of State has carefully considered the recommendation from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council but has decided not to add Dupuytren’s contracture to the list of prescribed diseases.”
In a further response the Minister added:
“The Department currently spends £900m a year supporting disabled people and those with health conditions through Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB).
The Department carefully considered the recommendation from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council but decided not to add Dupuytren’s contracture to the list of prescribed diseases, in order to continue to help as many people as possible, and ensure that we’re focussing support to those with the greatest needs.
People with Dupuytren’s contracture who are already in receipt of IIDB for other health conditions or disabilities will continue to receive their payments at the same rate. If a person with Dupuytren’s contracture is not eligible for IIDB they may still be eligible for support through other benefits such as Personal Independence Payment or Employment and Support Allowance.”
Mr Morris has called on the government to go further and address the pension injustice Mineworkers are also facing:
“The decision in relation to Dupuytren’s Contracture has been a long time coming. I am delighted we have won this battle, however, it is part of a wider fight to address the historic injustice of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme and the unfair Surplus Sharing arrangements which is leaving pensioners out of pocket in my constituency.
The government have relented on Dupuytren’s Contracture, however, they are still removing billions of pounds from the pension scheme and are only returning a tiny fraction to former mineworkers with this decision”
Grahame Morris MP, Questions relating to Dupuytren’s Contracture
Grahame Morris MP, Questions relating to the Mineworkers Pension Scheme