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.
Isabel Hardman, Assistant Editor of The Spectator, described Private Members’ Bills (PMBs) in these terms when giving evidence earlier in the month to the Commons Procedure Committee’s enquiry into the how PMBs are managed in Parliament. The Committee chair seemed broadly to agree with her assessment, noting that “the system is so corrupt now and such a sham that it is a sort of cruel fiction perpetrated on our constituents.” He was, however, at pains to emphasise that the Committee believes that there is room for reform of the present process. Continue reading
We have previously reported on Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill and here we cover the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill, introduced by Chris Heaton-Harris MP as a Private Members’ Bill, in the Commons, in June 2015. It complements the Saatchi Bill in many respects. Both Bills seek to promote medical innovation and attempt to qualify the legal risks in such treatment. Following its Second Reading in October, the new Bill was considered at Committee Stage on 16 December. Amendments to the Bill were defeated, so it will go to its Report Stage on 29 January 2016 without further amendment.