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?
A month ago today, one of the final acts of David Gauke MP during his time as Lord Chancellor was to decide to set the new personal injury discount rate for England & Wales at -0.25%, with this being only a marginal increase on the -0.75% figure which had applied from March 2017. The new legislation requires a review of this within five years, so will anything relevant realistically happen in the interim?
The Judicial Studies Board for Northern Ireland has published the fifth Edition of the ‘Green Book’ following the recommendations of a Committee chaired by Lord Justice Stephens. Access to the online version of the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury cases is available here.
The latest edition of the Guidelines provides an increase in the figures for most injuries by around 20%. Although this is certainly a significant one-off step change, it is the inevitable result of uprating the figures in the previous edition, published in 2013, to take account of inflation since then.