Periodical payment orders

Part of Civil Liability Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:15 pm ar 11 Medi 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice 3:15, 11 Medi 2018

Once again, I want to take this opportunity to praise the hon. Member for Lewisham West and Penge. The arguments for PPO are very strong. It is absolutely correct that the ideal thing is to give someone a PPO. The problem at the moment with receiving a large sum with a discount rate is that one could end up overcompensated or undercompensated. Overcompensation means a huge cost to the NHS and the taxpayer. Undercompensation can be catastrophic for one’s lifetime care costs. Rather than taking a lump sum, the PPO ensures that one gets the amount of money required to look after one’s costs. Therefore, we agree with the nature of this argument.

The disagreements with this amendment are technical. The 18-month period from Royal Assent is too short to take real effect. Regarding the basic question the hon. Lady has raised—whether the Civil Justice Council should look at the use of PPOs and the impact of discount rates on PPOs—we have written directly to the Master of the Rolls to request that the Civil Justice Council look at the use of PPOs. We remain open to doing that again, once the new review of discount rate is introduced.

It is absolutely right that we should encourage more uptake and challenge the insurance companies, which have said publicly that they want more use of PPOs, to ensure that more PPOs are given out. That is the best way to protect an injured person. There are some narrow cases where it is not appropriate—somebody may not have sufficient insurance or the financial weight to deliver a PPO—but when it is paid out, it ought to be paid and that is why we are grateful that, for example, the NHS continues to use the PPOs in the case of catastrophically injured children. I request that the hon. Lady withdraw the amendment.