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Written Statements

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

Written Ministerial Statements

Thursday 3 May 2007

Constitutional Affairs

Law on Damages

My right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor has made the following written ministerial statement.

“I will tomorrow publish a consultation paper: ‘The Law on Damages’. The paper considers issues arising from a number of Law Commission reports. These include recommendations for changes to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 concerning claims for damages where a person’s death has been caused by the negligence of another person.

The paper also seeks views on the principles surrounding the ability of people to claim damages for the cost of private medical treatment under section 2(4) of the Law Reform (Personal Injuries) Act 1948, and on the interface between the public and private provision of care and accommodation services.

In addition, the paper considers the law on claims for psychiatric illness; aggravated and restitutionary damages; and the treatment in damages awards of collateral benefits, gratuitous care and services, and accommodation expenses.

Copies of the consultation paper will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and can also be obtained free on the Department’s website at: http://www.dca.gov.uk/consult/confr.htm#full. The closing date for consultation is 27 July 2007.”

Northern Ireland

Hydebank Wood Prison

I wish to announce that, with effect from 3 May 2007, in accordance with the powers conferred on me by rule 5(1) of the Prison and Young Offenders Centre Rules (Northern Ireland) 1995, the boundaries of Hydebank Wood Prison are hereby altered to exclude Beech House. The area to be excluded is indicated on the site map, which I have today placed in the Libraries of both Houses, by the words “Beech House”.

Work and Pensions

Vaccine Damage Payment

I am pleased to announce that we are currently making arrangements to increase the statutory sum of a vaccine damage payment. The change, which will come into force on 12 July, will increase the sum for all new successful claims from the current level of £100,000 to £120,000. This will restore the value of the current payment in today’s prices for all new successful claims made on or after this date.

Following a review of the scheme the last increase under this Government took place in 2000 and substantially increased the sum for a vaccine damage payment from £40,000 to £100,000.

Vaccination has been one of the great successes of modern times, and immunisation continues to be the safest way for parents to protect their children against disease. In the event of new awards for vaccine damage, the level of payment has been raised, and this increase shows that the Government remain committed to providing families with financial support.