We are nearing the first anniversary of the personal injury discount rate (PIDR) being set in England & Wales last July using a new legal framework which broke the link that lasted more than two decades between the PIDR and the investment returns on Index Linked Government Stock (ILGS). That notional link remains valid as regards the current PIDRs in Ireland and Northern Ireland. However, on 10 June the Irish government launched a consultation on a possible new legal approach to rate-setting and is seeking views by 5 August. In Northern Ireland it appears likely that a similar consultation could begin in the next few weeks.
On 19 March 2019, the Scottish Government Minister for Community Safety told the Scottish Parliament that she expects this Bill “to save defenders money”. This can perhaps be taken as a Scottish Government indication that the new Personal Injury Discount Rate (PIDR) for Scotland will be higher than the present -0.75% one. Given the prescriptive formula set by the legislation and to be applied by the Government Actuary, this government indication has to be treated with some caution.
The Bill’s second reading in the Commons yesterday was book-ended by the speeches of the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor David Gauke and by junior justice minister Rory Stewart. In the intervening three and half hours the government flagged some important amendments it will make and the opposition set out the key elements of its argument against much of the whiplash reforms in particular. The body of this blog attempts to summarise the debate. Continue reading