Officials from the NI Department of Justice gave evidence this afternoon on the way forward following consultation over the summer on the mechanism for setting the personal injury discount rate. There are two significant developments:
- First that the officials indicated that on balance the Department had concluded it would not proceed to reset the existing rate based on the 1996 Act, ILGS yields and Wells v Wells.
- Second is that the Department will seek to introduce legislation quickly to deliver a new legal framework for setting the discount rate.
The Northern Ireland Department of Justice NI today issued, as had been expected before the summer break, a consultation paper on changing the legal framework by which the personal injury discount rate (PIDR) may be set. By coincidence, the consultation follows only a week after a similar exercise was launched by the Justice Department in Dublin.
Today is six months on from the announcement by then Lord Chancellor David Gauke on 15 July 2019, that the discount rate in England & Wales would be re-set, using new powers in the Civil Liability Act 2018, at -0.25% with effect from 5 August 2019. In the ordinary course of things this rate should apply for five years and should then be reviewed. What has or has not happened in the six months since the Lord Chancellor’s decision?