VALE AM Jane Hutt, has congratulated Labour AM and former South Glamorgan County Councillor Mick Antoniw, on his pioneering Bill to help sufferers of asbestos diseases.

The Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases Bill will become law after it was passed by the National Assembly for Wales last month.

Thousands of Welsh workers suffer from asbestos related disease and almost 100 cases of mesothelioma, a fatal form of lung cancer. are diagnosed each year in Wales.

Before the dangers of asbestos were fully understood, the material was widely used. Among the work places where asbestos exposure occurred were power stations, lagging industries, and steel works and shipyards.

In some cases of asbestos disease, there have been negligence and health and safety breaches. This new law will enable the Welsh Government to recover the cost of medical services and treatment provided by the Welsh NHS, from the negligent party or insurer.

Jane Hutt AM said: “This is a milestone Bill which will help people whose lives have been devastated by this terrible disease.

"Mick Antoniw has worked tirelessly to ensure that this Bill becomes law and although the Welsh Conservatives did not support it, I am pleased that the Bill was welcomed by the Welsh Labour Government, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats.”