Call to end compensation 'gravy train'

Published Thursday, 12 December 2013
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SDLP MLA John Dallat has called for an end to the compensation "gravy train" after the Department of Regional Development paid out millions for personal injury claims and damage to vehicles.

Call to end compensation 'gravy train'
Poor road maintenance has led to compensation claims. (© Getty)

The department has paid out £21m in the last five years.

Over £19.5m was paid out for personal injury claims while another £1.3m was paid to drivers whose vehicles were damaged because of poor road maintenance.

The figures were obtained by the SDLP's John Dallat through a written question to roads' minister Danny Kennedy.

The MLA for East Londonderry said: "This gravy train is gaining speed again having showed a worrying increase in 2012/13 both for personal injuries and damage to motor vehicles.

"There can be no justification for this outrageous amount of claims if best practice is applied and the department has robust documentation to resist spurious or false claims.

"£21m is a lot of money, more than enough to sort out the shortfall on the Narrow Water Bridge project, vital to catching up on road maintenance and enough to buy in excess of 100 new buses.

"I intend to take this issue up with the Audit Office because it is a burning issue which was investigated before by the Comptroller and Auditor General but clearly needs revisiting.

"The compensation gravy train running across various government departments is absorbing vital money which is badly needed not just for transport but for health and education in particular. It must be derailed."

© UTV News
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10 Comments
Bob in Belfast wrote (127 days ago):
What about that gravy train you bought the ticket for up in Stormont John..get a shovel , roll your sleeves up and fill one in if your that outraged...better that than resist from scouring the internet looking for something to be outraged about and pretending your concerned...earn your money mouthpeice !
Dave in Dromore wrote (127 days ago):
Well fix the roads then!
Fiona in Belfast wrote (128 days ago):
It is the availability of legal aid that encourages these claims, encouraged by legal aid lawyers who see this as their bread and butter. You only have to walk around the areas were claims are highest and the places are littered with defects, usually as a result of vandalism, and solicitors offices are in abundance. Cut the availability of legal aid and these claims will reduce.
Gavin in Belfast wrote (128 days ago):
Think dallat and all his mates in stormount are on the gravy train!! Fix the roads means no claims!!!
Get real in Belfast wrote (128 days ago):
Good luck trying to stop the "gravy train" people are obliged by law to claim that money and europe will hardly change the law to suit wee northern ireland.
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