HC Deb 17 March 2000 vol 346 c384W
Mr. Burnett

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans the Lord Chancellor has to use his powers under Section 1 of the Damages Act 1996. [115239]

Mr. Lock

The Act allows the Lord Chancellor to set a rate by which lump sum awards for damages are discounted to offset the advantage to the claimant of receiving his money all at once. In Wells v. Wells [1999] 1 A.C. 345 the House of Lords ruled that the rate should be based on the return available from Index Linked Government Securities (ILGS) because the claimant must be assumed to pursue risk-averse investments. The Lord Chancellor has today issued a consultation paper seeking comments on how the discount rate should be set and reviewed. In the light of responses he will decide whether, and if so how, to exercise the power under section 1 of the Act.