On the same day this week that Chancellor Philip Hammond said the government would “progress urgently” to consult about the personal injury discount rate, the Petitions Committee, working jointly with the Transport Committee, heard evidence about the cost of car insurance for young drivers. The topic will be debated in Parliament after a petition calling for a £1,200 cap on the cost of car insurance for young drivers secured more than 180,000 signatures. The Parliamentary debate is scheduled for 20 March and it may be mere coincidence that this is the same date on which the statutory instrument bringing in the new negative discount rate is scheduled to take effect.
In a blog earlier today we noted that measures to address “whiplash” are to be included in the Prison and Courts Bill published today.
Indeed Part 5 of the Bill, which has just been published, is simply headed “WHIPLASH” (the capitals are from the Bill itself). The content of part 5 stretches across pages 59 -65 of the Bill but despite the length of the clauses included there, it should be noted that a great deal of the detail will be left to regulation.
The Ministry of Justice will conclude its long-standing review of the discount rate used to calculate personal injury awards by 31 January 2017. This news appeared at 07:00 this morning with the Ministry releasing a regulatory news story on the London Stock Exchange’s news feed. The full text of the RNS may be found here
As that piece recognises, there could be “profound financial consequences of even a marginal change to the discount rate.” Perhaps this passage may hint at why advance notice of a mainstream policy announcement about personal injury law was made via the Stock Exchange rather than the via MoJ’s press office?