June 26, 2017

Fans of nice old ladies clad in fetching blEU royale reading words off specially-prepared goatskin may have been left feeling a bit short changed last week.

Not only was the famous Queen’s Peach address so brief it was over almost as soon as it had begun, but also everything remotely controversial from the Tory manifesto had been stripped out of it. Everything, that is, unless you count the abolition of personal injury claims.

The Poisons & Counts Bill (of which the crackdown on PI claims originally formed part) has gone, but a new thing called the Civil Liability Bill will now “ensure there is a fair, transparent and proportionate system of compensation in place for damages paid to genuinely injured personal injury claimants”. Note ‘genuine’, an important qualification given that most injured people are basically just scroungers trying it on.

Countless academic studies have repeatedly and definitively revealed that the UK has what is known technically as a compensation culture. A compensation culture can be said to exist in any country where the majority of people know longer know the meaning of the word ‘work’ and rely instead on ill-deserved handouts that allow them to purchase £200 trainers and flat screen (or even slightly bendy screen) TVs and generally laze around at the expense of the shrinking minority of people who actually contribute something to society and would never dream of making a motor insurance claim unless they were basically dead or something.

A government mouthpiece spake unto the media and did confirm that the measures contained within the Civ Liabs Bill will “tackle the rampant compensation culture and reduce the number and cost of whiplash claims by banning offers to settle claims without the support of medical evidence and introducing a new fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries with a duration of up to two years.”

Then, lo, the mouthpiece did again bring forth utterance, announcing that the bill’s provisions on personal injury will cut “the continuing high number and cost of whiplash claims to put money back in the pockets of motorists”. Which might feel a bit weird if you’re not expecting it, but would obviously be a welcome kind of weird, if only from a financial point of view.

There will be mild disappointment for long-term fans of the war on whiplash, however, with the news that the £40 a year which decent honest claim-free motorists have long been promised has been rounded down to £35. Still, it’s better than nothing. Even if the figure is eventually further reduced to £30, or £20, or “that was only ever an aspiration”.


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