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Baroness Blatch: I am happy to give my noble friend that assurance not only as regards the two specific questions he asked but also as regards the readability and the understandability of the scheme itself. Perhaps my noble friend remembers that yesterday one of the arguments for supporting the scheme standing outside the Bill was not only that that increased the flexibility for modification but also that we could resort to less legalistic language so that it was readily understood and we could dispense with the raft of people who are required to interpret it. I, too, take that point seriously.

Lord Windlesham: While I appreciate that reply, I think that the description that the noble Baroness has just used of legalistic language is well justified. If she can persuade her officials to look again at this provision which will be referred to over and over again in applications she will be doing a service to the Chamber and to future claimants.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The noble Lord, Lord Windlesham, has raised important points, not least the point of the comprehensibility of paragraph 22 of the draft scheme. For the sake of clarity of debate I want to cover that point in Amendment No. 34, which follows the amendment that we are discussing.

The part of the scheme to which the noble Lord is referring is not just complicated as regards the text that he read, but also refers to note 7 to the scheme which is even more complicated and, as we shall see, is crude and inefficient. If the complaint about legalistic language applies also to subparagraphs (c) and (e) of paragraph 22 of the scheme, which are the subparagraphs that we included in this amendment to be part of the Bill, I plead guilty of proposing to repeat legalistic language on the face of the Bill. However, we have to do the best we can. We have to deal with the work that has been done—which is often conscientious and well meaning work—which seeks to tackle the complexities of the scheme in a document which is comprehensible, and we have to try to look for those elements which are not going to change.

I believe that these elements will not change and I believe that a scheme which achieves adequate compensation with respect to loss of earnings capacity and indeed pension rights needs to be on the face of the Bill because that is one of the primary justifications which the Government have adduced for bringing

17 Oct 1995 : Column 685

forward this enhanced tariff scheme. It is because I think it is so important that loss of earnings payments should be spelt out and not simply be referred to as,

    "in such cases as may be specified",

as Clause 2 of the Bill now states, that I believe the Committee ought to take a view on Amendment No. 33.

3.57 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 33) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 91; Not-Contents, 152.

Division No. 1


Addington, L.
Airedale, L.
Allen of Abbeydale, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Birk, B.
Blackstone, B.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Callaghan of Cardiff, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Chorley, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Desai, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkender, B.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fitt, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Glenamara, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.]
Grey, E.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L. [Teller.]
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Houghton of Sowerby, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes, L.
Hylton, L.
Jay, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennet, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lockwood, B.
Longford, E.
Macaulay of Bragar, L.
McCarthy, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Nelson, E.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Peston, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Redesdale, L.
Richard, L.
Ritchie of Dundee, L.
Robson of Kiddington, B.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Sainsbury, L.
Sandwich, E.
Seear, B.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Serota, B.
Shannon, E.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Stallard, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Strafford, E.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Whaddon, L.
White, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.


Aberdare, L.
Abinger, L.
Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Aldington, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Ampthill, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Balfour, E.
Barber, L.
Barber of Tewkesbury, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Blyth, L.
Borthwick, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Brain, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Bruntisfield, L.
Burnham, L.
Cadman, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Chelmer, L.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L. [Teller.]
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cochrane of Cults, L.
Constantine of Stanmore, L.
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Cullen of Ashbourne, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Davidson, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Derwent, L.
Digby, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dormer, L.
Downshire, M.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Ferrers, E.
Finsberg, L.
Flather, B.
Gainford, L.
Gainsborough, E.
Gisborough, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Gridley, L.
Grimston of Westbury, L.
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L.
Halsbury, E.
Hardinge of Penshurst, L.
Harmsworth, L.
Harrowby, E.
Harvington, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Holderness, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Inchyra, L.
Inglewood, L.
Kimball, L.
Kintore, E.
Lauderdale, E.
Leigh, L.
Lindsay, E.
Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
McConnell, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Macleod of Borve, B.
Malmesbury, E.
Marsh, L.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milverton, L.
Monk Bretton, L.
Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Mottistone, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Napier and Ettrick, L.
Newall, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Orkney, E.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Palmer, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Pender, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prentice, L.
Pym, L.
Radnor, E.
Rawlings, B.
Rennell, L.
Ridley, V.
Rodger of Earlsferry, L.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Sandford, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shuttleworth, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Stokes, L.
Strange, B.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Swansea, L.
Swinfen, L.
Swinton, E.
Terrington, L.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vivian, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Waterford, M.
Westbury, L.
Whitelaw, V.
Wyatt of Weeford, L.
Wynford, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

17 Oct 1995 : Column 686

17 Oct 1995 : Column 687

4.6 p.m.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 34:

After Clause 2, insert the following new clause—

Calculation of future financial loss

(". Where the calculation of an additional amount of compensation requires a calculation of future financial loss, that calculation shall be made by reference to such tables as are published from time to time by the Government Actuary's Department for use in personal injury and fatal accident cases.").

The noble Lord said: Amendment No. 34 is the amendment that I trailed in my previous speech. However, I trailed it incorrectly. I did not read paragraph 22 of the draft scheme closely enough, and therefore I did not realise that what I was talking about was not Note 7 to the scheme but Note 5. Both are referred to in paragraph 22, but it is Note 5 that I particularly want to criticise. Although the drafters of the scheme cannot get their own names right, perhaps they are better at getting their numbers right.

Note 5, which also applies to a number of other paragraphs in the scheme, provides for the way in which a multiplier shall be calculated for the accelerated receipt of a lump sum under the provisions of the scheme.

Perhaps I may again begin in my usual conciliatory way by saying that the provisions in the scheme for accelerated receipt of a lump sum are wholly to be welcomed. In that respect, as in many others, the scheme which is put forward in the draft and outlined in the Bill is an enormous improvement on the previous tariff scheme. We would not find ourselves in agreement with the general principle of the scheme if that were not the case. Therefore, we start from a position of agreement with a good deal of the scheme which is now proposed.

However, the proposals in Note 5 to paragraph 22—and to other paragraphs—appear to us to be seriously defective. The proposals include two columns of figures. One relates to periods of time in five-year bands and the other is a multiplier which is sometimes in bands of three, sometimes in bands of two and eventually progresses to bands of one. That means that the multiplier which is provided for the accelerated receipt of a lump sum is hugely different according to whether one is just above or just below the 10 or 15 year band. It becomes less serious as the period continues. However, it is not a continuous process. It is not a mathematical formula which will apply to all possible circumstances. It is a quite unnecessarily crude oversimplification which will lead to considerable injustices at the margin.

Perhaps I may draw an analogy which will not endear me to those on the opposite Benches. It is rather like the council tax as opposed to the rates. A few years ago when we considered the council tax in place of the infamous poll tax we on these Benches warned the Government that there would be serious problems because the proposed bands were too wide and too crude. The Government paid attention to some extent because they added bands at both ends of the scale and made it a less wide and less crude scheme. However, we warned that there would be a huge number of appeals against the council tax because the differences were so great; and we were right. The number of appeals

17 Oct 1995 : Column 688

was far greater than the Government anticipated. I am not even sure that the backlog of those appeals which were initiated years ago when the council tax was first introduced has yet been cleared. I may be wrong about that; they had not been cleared six months ago.

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