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The Justice Secretary is reading from the same whiplash brief as his predecessor, but:

1. The government's calculations of the savings accruing to motorists from these reforms have fallen from £50 (November 2015) to £40 (February 2017) and now £35. The way we are going, if HMG gets the Civil Liability Bill onto the statute book by April 2019, the savings will be £0, which is what A2J always said they would be, not least because even the ABI has admitted they are unlikely to materialise, and there is no binding requirement from HMG on insurers to pass the savings on.

2. That means hundreds of thousands of members of the public suffering minor injuries in RTAs will be denied access to justice for nothing.

3. Where is the evidence that there is a whiplash 'epidemic?' Ken Oliphant, Professor of Tort Law at Bristol University, has already debunked the canard that the UK is the whiplash capital of Europe. Italy has nearly 50% more whiplash claims and pays out more than twice as much in compensation. On the average cost of whiplash claims, the UK only comes in the lower half of the table. In Switzerland, they cost ten times as much per claim. The same data show that bodily injury claims generally cost more in Italy, Germany, France and Spain than in the UK

4. The only beneficiaries from these reforms will be insurers and their shareholders. Capital Economics estimates that they will benefit the tune of £700m. Nice work if you can get it.

Theresa May said when she took on the job of PM: “When we make the big calls we'll think not of the powerful but you (ordinary working people), when we pass new laws we'll listen not to the mighty but to you.”

I leave the readers of the Gazette to decide whether she is living up to her promise.

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