Scotland has introduced new legislation with the aim to create a simpler way of setting the rate of personal injury discount rates.
The Scottish Government have brought forward this bill - The Damages (Investment Returns and Periodical Payments) (Scotland) Bill - to address concerns that the current process is not as transparent as is necessary, nor is it reviewed regularly enough. Under the new legislation, the government actuary, who will take on the role of ‘rate assessor’, will now review the process every three years.
In a policy statement issued alongside the bill, it stated, “The Scottish Government has decided that a review should be carried out within three years of the previous review. This will provide a significant degree of certainty tempered with a proportionate degree of flexibility.”
The policy continued to say, “Each review is to determine whether the rate should remain as it is or be changed.”
Courts will have the power to apply for an alternative rate in individual cases if deemed necessary under the specific circumstances. They will also have the right to issue regular payment orders to spread the payments out over a period of time.
Additionally, the bill laid out a new methodology for calculating the discount rate. These changes follow similar legislation introduced in England and Wales earlier this year.
The discount rate is a percentage used to calculate lump sum compensation awards to ensure that the correct amount is received and will cover any future losses of the individual such as medical costs, care costs and future salary.
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