§ Mr. Duncan Smith
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to raise the small claims limit; what is the proposed time scale; and what plans he has for a consultation period. 
Mr. John M. Taylor
The small claims limit fell within the scope of the first stage of Lord Woolf's review of access to justice. During this review, Lord Woolf himself conducted an extensive consultation exercise including a programme of public seminars. A list of the individuals and organisations who contributed to the inquiry is annexed to the interim report, which was published last month. In view of that wide-ranging consultation, the Lord Chancellor does not intend to undertake further public consultation on the question of whether he should implement Lord Woolf's recommendation that the limit for small claims, other than those for personal injury, should be raised to £3,000. The power to make the necessary amendments rests with the562W county court rules committee which, as part of its consideration of the matter, will consult interested parties. No timetable has yet been set for the laying of a statutory instrument before the House.