§ Nigel Griffiths
The Government is concerned by increases in the cost of insurance for businesses, particularly Employer's Liability Insurance (ELI). A recent survey of small businesses for the Small Business Survey found that only 2 per cent. of firms spontaneously cited insurance as a major obstacles to the success of the business, although when prompted 27 per cent. of firms said insurance was an obstacle to success. It is difficult to assess the effect on competitiveness of these increases in the cost of insurance. The Government's review of the ELI system, led by the Department for Work and Pension, aims to examine the impact of the current system on employers and make recommendations for change accordingly. It is due to report in Spring 2003; details are available at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications /dwp/2002/healthsafety/eli-review/index.htm.
The Office of Fair Trading is currently engaged in a short study of the liability insurance market, also due to report in Spring 2003, which will help inform the Government's review of the ELI system.