Peers spent around four hours on Wednesday 15 May debating the new approach in the Bill to setting the personal injury discount rate which, in summary, is (a) that the link between the rate and returns on Index-Linked Gilts is scrapped and (b) that a timed-limited and detailed procedure of advice from an expert panel and a decision by the Lord Chancellor is put in place. As would be expected at this stage, no amendments were voted on but several key issues nevertheless remain live for further discussion at Report Stage. We expect that might take place next month, after the short end of May recess.
On 10 May Peers scrutinised the whiplash reforms set out in Part 1 of the Civil Liability Bill. As was noted here previously, a range of probing amendments had been tabled for debate and, days before, the MoJ had released draft regulations setting out its preferred definition of whiplash injury and its preferred tariff of general damages for whiplash injury. None of the amendments were put to a vote and the Bill proceeds as is on 15 May for a further Committee Stage debate. That will focus on the discount rate clauses in part 2 of the Bill, as well as completing the scrutiny of part 1.
Yesterday’s second reading debate on the Bill focused, for over three and a half hours, on a few key concerns around the proposed reforms to whiplash claims and the setting of the personal injury discount rate. The detailed scrutiny of the legislation will be taken in the Committee Stages on 10 and 15 May. The proceedings yesterday gave some clues as to further questions and/or amendments which may surface then.