VICTIMS of asbestos-induced cancer mesothelioma who can’t trace a liable employer will soon be able to apply for compensation worth an average of £123,000, the Government has announced.

Ministers said the amount had been increased from an estimated £115,000 after savings were made in administration costs.

About 3,500 victims or their families can apply for compensation from next month, with payments due from July as part of a £380 million package.

The changes should not affect former workers at York Carriageworks, where many scores of ex-employees have died from mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos dust but where the employer is known.

However, people who worked for other businesses in the city which cannot be traced should stand to benefit.

Work and Pensions Minister Mike Penning said: “This will end years of injustice for mesothelioma victims and their families, who have had to endure this terrible disease with little hope of any compensation from the insurance industry.

“We have made it an absolute priority to bring in the scheme as soon as legislation will allow, so I am pleased to announce that victims will be able to apply for payments from next month.”