Vikki Melville expresses concern about the supposed influx of fraudulent claims that are about to engulf Scotland (Disincentive needed now to discourage dishonest claims, 4 September). However, such prophecies have absolutely no basis in evidence.
The Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Bill does indeed introduce measures to protect people, who have been injured through no fault of their own, from having to pay the costs of bringing valid claims. These measures reflect the recommendations of an independent and detailed review by Sheriff Principal James Taylor, which were evidence based, and designed to improve access to justice for vulnerable people. There are already safeguards in the Bill to ensure fraudulent and other unmeritorious claims are excluded from these safeguards.
The aims of defenders and the insurance industry are clear - to distract attention from the scandal of inflated repair costs being paid by insurers, while high dividends continue to be paid to shareholders. If insurers are genuinely concerned about ‘fundamental dishonesty’, then perhaps a good starting point would be to investigate their own practices, rather than target overdue reforms designed to provide redress to vulnerable people.