Government payments to miners who suffered hearing loss as a result of their work has jumped fourfold to £3 million in the past two years, even though the industry was privatised almost 20 years ago.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Mail on Sunday, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said claims for noise-induced hearing loss were pouring in.
The department is responsible for any legal claims resulting from the nationalised coal industry between 1947 and 1994.
It said it had paid compensation of just over £3 million for deafness claims in the past financial year, relating to 1,393 claims.
It paid £2.2 million the year before and £827,000 the year before that.
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