Over £33 million in compensation claims has been paid out by Scottish councils over the last five years, a new report shows. Following a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives, figures showed that from 2007-2012, £33.2 Million was spent on 13,000 compensation claims.
COSLA, the council umbrella body, accused the conservatives of “opportunistic council bashing” after it was suggested that there was a “compensation culture” that is “spiralling out of control”.
In the current climate it is “neither sensible nor sustainable” for millions to be paid out in compensation claims, said Margaret Mitchell, the Conservative’s local government spokeswoman.
Payments had ranged from “very serious to the utterly ridiculous”, and included a £4,000 payout to a cyclist who had been knocked off their bike by overhanging branches; £40 to a woman who claimed that grass cuttings had damaged her garden gnomes; £170,000 to a man because a firework blew up in his hand; and £57 after an owner said their dog’s paws had got covered in tar.
Councillors were up in arms at the suggestion that they were feeding the ‘compensation culture’ after the conservatives eluded to the figures being much higher than £33.2 million. This claim was due to the seven councils who did not respond to the request for information.
Cllr O’Neill claims the council have been targeted unjustly by the conservatives over the festive period. He went on to say that the councils only pay compensation when instructed to legally. They do not pay it “will-nilly and to suggest otherwise is both wrong and misleading.”
Genuine compensation claims
It is of course very important that people who have suffered an injury due to an accident that was not their fault receives the compensation they deserve… Many people are involved in accidents at work that were not their fault and can be left unable to work for months, sometimes even years. These people should make a claim for accident at work compensation and ensure that they get the claim they deserve.