Be careful what you wish for . . .

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Your feature and subsequent editorial in the Courier (October 13) concerning the Toy Safety Directive and the general issue of health and safety were both worthy of publication.

However, there are many people including local and national media who should be careful what they wish for.

For the last ten years the major insurance companies have repeatedly perpetuated the myth that we are living in the grip of a compensation culture. There is not a shred of evidence to bear this out.

Both the Labour Government and the Coalition Government commissioned independent reports all of which have concluded unambiguously that there is actually no compensation culture in this country as a matter of fact. Compared with the rest of Europe we are not even on the starting blocks.

Insurance companies invented the compensation culture fabrication to deter many genuine injured members of the public from making claims for damages, whether those injuries have been caused by a road accident, a tripping accident or a workplace accident.

These are the very same insurance companies who continually make profits of hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

These are the same insurance companies who were in fact selling the claims they did receive to firms of solicitors for an average of £800 per case and then had the cheek to complain that solicitors were engaged in helping claimants making claims. It is complete and utter bunkum and always has been.

The net effect however is to frighten local authorities, individuals and private businesses from undertaking beneficial activities.

Hence, we receive stories of schools not taking children on school trips.

One local authority banned maypole dancing for fear someone might slip and injure themselves and then sue.

For some events which have proceeded, insurance companies have deliberately doubled if not tripled the premium based on the false justification that the compensation culture might trigger a claim. This is out and out profit making of the most obscene and immoral kind.

I should be grateful if you would publish this letter as it might just correct a huge misconception and re-introduce a dollop of common sense.

Richard M Whitaker

Skircoat Green