Government's failure to listen to reason about plans to introduce derisory compensation tariffs for victims of whiplash injury is a blow to the fair treatment of people with genuine injuries, said Brett Dixon, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
But, speaking after heated debate about the introduction of tariffs in the Civil Liability Bill in the House of Lords last night (12 June) he gave a cautious welcome to a possible compromise from the Government.
Government minister Lord Keen said the Bill would be amended at its next stage to allow consultation with the Lord Chief Justice before the tariff is set.
"If the Government is determined to introduce a tariff system, then the very least injured people have the right to expect is that the advice of the Lord Chief Justice is sought. But this cannot just be a tick-box exercise," he warned. "If advice is to be sought from the Lord Chief Justice, then that advice must be followed.
"The Government should not be allowed to punish innocent injured people for reasons which have absolutely no foundation in reality, as all the evidence makes it crystal clear that personal injury claims are not connected with rising insurance premiums.
"It is the job of judges to decide on levels of compensation for injured people. Derisory tariffs imposed by the Government for purely political reasons have no place in a fair society."