VICTIMS of mesothelioma and their families look set to receive higher compensation payments in future.

Ministers have agreed that they will increase the cap to 80 per cent, meaning that an average payout will be £123,000, rather than £115,000.

Mesothelioma is an industrially-contracted cancer which often kills and is usually brought about by contact with asbestos, which was once common in factories and shipyards, among other places.

Many men in the Barrow and Furness area have died from the condition.

The issue has been going through parliament and under the original proposals, it was suggested payments for sufferers whose employers or insurers could not be traced would have been capped at 75 per cent of average civil damages in mesothelioma cases.

But Barrow's MP John Woodcock, and colleagues from all parties, have been saying this cap should be set higher, ideally at 100 per cent.

Mr Woodcock said: “This is extremely welcome news for those who contracted this horrific disease and for their families: mesothelioma usually kills within two years of diagnosis and is normally directly attributable to exposure to asbestos in the workplace, meaning towns like Barrow have particularly high rates.

"It is essential that when former employers or insurance schemes cannot be traced, that the state steps in and provides compensation, in as generous a manner as is possible."