Taxpayers being bled dry by compensation claims?

Industry news roundup: week ended 16 Dec 2013:

Another row over so-called ‘compensation culture’ is set to begin after reports of several local authorities being ransomed for millions by the injured.

So here we go again: apparently there are evil personal injury lawyers running amok across the UK, convincing otherwise docile Brits to bring spurious claims to the tune of millions of pounds in personal injury compensation. Firs ton the chopping block is how Worcestershire County Council paid out  £1.7 million over the past four years.

Truth be told the figures sound impressively high – £1.7 million with over 3,300 personal injury claims – but let’s be honest for a moment: did you think accidents simply don’t happen in Worcestershire? I don’t see how legitimately injured Brits shouldn’t be compensated when they’re injured or their property is damaged in a situation where their local authority had responsibility for the area. Or are you telling me that if you tripped on a bit of uneven pavement and then broke your arm, you’d just blithely forgive your county council for not looking after things as they should?

Of course this whole objection over ‘compensation culture’ is happening across the UK. In fact an SDLP MLA recently came down hard on the more than £20 million that the Department of Regional Development paid out in the 2012/2013 financial year, calling for the brakes on the ‘gravy train’ to be applied before it careers out of control.

Well good for you, sir, for standing up for shoddy governmental practices and a lack of being held accountable for them. Perhaps if Northern Ireland’s roads weren’t in complete shambles these insanely high compensation figures wouldn’t be rolling in every year. Ask yourself – do you think you would spend more than £20 million or less than that if you did your best to keep the roads in your area safe and well-maintained? It’s simple maths, isn’t it?

Then again, nothing is simple. I particularly like how all these local authorities cry about not having the capital to keep up with infrastructure maintenance yet somehow they have money set aside to pay out on all these compensation claims.

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