27 April, 2021
In a statement made in advance of the House of Lords' debate on the whiplash reform programme (reported on elsewhere in our E April Newsletter) Justice Minister Lord Wolfson of Tredegar reaffirmed the Government's commitment to the RTA reforms but also indicated that the proposed increase to the Small Claims Track limit for other personal injury claims would not be to £2000 as originally planned, but instead would be limited to £1500. In addition, it will be deferred until April 2022. You could be forgiven for thinking that the Government had decided not to go ahead with this aspect of the reforms, as all the focus in recent months has been on the RTA reforms, but it is clear that was not the Government's intention.
His statement in full is as follows:
"The Government remains firmly committed to the implementation on 31 May 2021 of the necessary and proportionate measures to control the number and cost of claims for whiplash as, set out in Part 1 of the Civil Liability Act 2018. It also intends to implement on 31 May the associated increase, from £1000 to £5,000 to the small claims track limit for road traffic accident (RTA) related personal injury claims.
The Government had previously considered an increase, from £1000 to £2000, to the small claims track limit for all other types of personal injury claims, including employers and public liability claims. However, having considered the views of a number of stakeholders, including from a wide range of representatives from across the insurance industry and the personal injury and trade union sectors, the government has decided to both limit the proposed increase in the small claims limit for all other personal injury claims to £1,500 instead of £2,000 and to defer the implementation of this measure until April 2022.
Delivering this reform remains a key Government priority but we believe that a more modest increase in the small claims track limit for non-RTA related claims is justified. Pausing its implementation for 12 months will enable greater focus to be placed on the commencement of the whiplash reforms and the launch of the new Official Injury Claim service for claimants on 31 May 2021. This decision will also provide affected stakeholders additional time to prepare for the increase in April next year."