31 MAY 2018
Thank you for taking the time to email me about EDM 1140.
I understand you would like me to sign EDM 1140, however like many MPs I do not sign any EDMs no matter how worthy the cause. This is because EDMs now cost a huge amount per year to administer and have no chance of changing the Law. They are in effect petitions which only MPs can sign. They have also been superseded by online petitions which can be on any issue for which the Government or Parliament is responsible and any which receive 10,000 signatures will receive a response from the Government. Those petitions which reach 100,000 signatures will almost always be debated in Parliament – unless it is an issue which has recently been debated. There are also concerns that EDMs may give a false impression that action is being taken.
I hope the following information on this topic from the Ministry of Justice is reassuring:
The number of whiplash claims has been too high for too long, and is symptomatic of a wider compensation culture. This is being put right through the Civil Liability Bill, which will ensure that whiplash claims are no longer an easy payday and that money can be put back in the pockets of millions of law-abiding motorists.
In 2017 the insurance industry identified 69,000 motor insurance claims that it considered fraudulent. The Government's reforms seek to reduce and control the costs of whiplash claims and to disincentivise people making fraudulent or unmeritorious claims. The level of compensation paid out for such claims is, in the Government's view, out of all proportion to any genuine injury suffered, especially when balanced against its effect on the price of premiums paid by ordinary motorists.
The measures in the Bill relating to whiplash will therefore address a number of issues. They will introduce a ban on settling whiplash claims without medical evidence, discouraging fraudulent claims and encouraging insurers to investigate claims properly. They will also provide for a new system of fixed tariffs for payments for pain, suffering and "loss of amenity" in whiplash claims. This will give claimants proportionate compensation while controlling the costs of claims.
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