The Transport Select Committee (TSC) has launched a fresh whiplash inquiry amid criticisms of the government for ignoring their previous recommendations on the subject, where they found in favour of retaining the small claims limit at £1,000 rather than increasing it.
MPs will now scrutinise the implementation of their previous recommendations by the government, which include independent medical panels to support diagnosis and whether or not the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) themselves could be doing more to help reduce the cost and number of fraudulent and exaggerated claims.
The Committee’s original decision, which is believed to be the biggest influence behind the governments change of stance over the small claims limit and whiplash reform will be debated today in the House of Commons and prior to that, the chair of the committee, Louise Ellman MP has warned the Justice Secretary of the TSC’s disappointment regarding the MoJ’s decision to ignore them.
She said: “While it was particularly gratifying to see the committee’s principal recommendations accepted, we were disappointed that the recommendations in our report did not receive specific responses (in the government’s consultation response document). In fact, several were ignored completely. In other cases, little detail was provided about how the government would be taking things forward.”
Among the seven unaddressed recommendations which the Committee put forward are that the government should seek out ways to requiring whiplash claimants to provide more information in support of a claim, such as proof they saw a medical practitioner or evidence of an injury’s impact, and that the government should analyse the impact of the RTA portal on claims management and costs when it comes to increasing the small claims limit. They are also pushing for a ban on pre-med offers being made by insurers.