The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has this week announced that the Civil Liability Bill’s small claims measures will not be implemented until April 2020.

The proposed small claims limit increase, from £1,000 to £5,000 for road accident claims and £2,000 for personal injury claims, was originally intended to be implemented from April 2019. On the advice of the Justice Select Committee, the MoJ has confirmed the year delay, a move that the MoJ claims will ensure that concerns around access to justice are ‘addressed promptly’.

"Working with our union clients we will continue to oppose these misdirected measures and take every opportunity to expose the government’s flawed rationale.”

Tom Jones, Head of Policy at Thompsons Solicitors

However, a number of statements in the report have been avoided by the government: the report clearly recommends the use of CPI – the government’s preferred measure of inflation – rather than RPI to calculate the increase in the small claims limit.

Campaigning law firm Thompsons Solicitors is leading the charge against the proposed increases to the small claims limit and how it will affect access to justice, particularly workers, for whom there is no suggestion of ‘fraudulent claims’. The Feeding Fat Cats campaign urges consumers to write to their local MP to oppose the changes.

Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors said: “The refusal to accept the irrefutable evidence that any inflationary increase in the small claims limit should be calculated by reference to inflation from 1999 not 1991 is astonishing. Lord Justice Jackson and the Justice Select Committee made clear that the last change in the small claims limit was 1999 and five minutes looking at the leading text on court procedures, the White Book, confirms this.

“The government seems determined to press ahead with attacking all injured people when they claim the crisis is in whiplash. Working with our union clients we will continue to oppose these misdirected measures and take every opportunity to expose the government’s flawed rationale.”

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