The Conservative Party would impose cost penalties on those who bring spurious claims if it is elected to power, according to shadow chancellor Oliver Letwin.

In an exclusive interview with Insurance Times, Letwin said the Conservatives would publish a paper outlining the plans to combat bogus claims in the next few weeks.

Letwin said that the Conservatives recognised that a culture exists where people will claim even when there is no justification.

He said that, for example, bogus tribunal claims were costing small business an average of £7,000 per claim plus the lost opportunity cost of resources tied up in fighting claims.

"We propose to ensure that if there is no case then the claimant is exposed to costs," he said.

"This environment needs to be tackled, it really is changing peoples attitude so that they are terrified of being exposed to the slightest risk," he added.

It is expected that a general election will be held in May.

' For more of Oliver Letwin's views on general insurance issues read the exclusive interview in next week's Insurance Times.