An impact assessment of government plans to increase the small claims limit will be published alongside a forthcoming consultation, the Ministry of Justice has said.

Chancellor George Osborne proposed in November that the limit should rise for personal injury claims from £1,000 to £5,000 – effectively removing lawyers from the process altogether.

The policy was packaged on the basis that motor insurance premiums would come down, as insurers would pass on savings on legal costs.

The government is also considering a proposal to scrap general damages for ‘minor’ soft-tissue injuries.

Labour MP for Birkenhead Frank Field (pictured) asked justice secretary Michael Gove earlier this month what assessment he had made of the potential effect the proposals would have on access to justice for people on low incomes.

Responding to the question yesterday, justice minister Dominic Raab said the government will consult on the detail of the new reforms ‘in due course, including any necessary safeguards’.

Raab said the consultation will be ‘accompanied by an impact assessment’.

At a meeting between the MoJ and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers some weeks ago, officials made clear that work was being carried out to ensure claims management companies do not move into any space vacated by lawyers, with a report on CMC regulation due out in March or April.

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