Joseph Johnson Written Questions

9 Questions to Government Departments tabled by Joseph Johnson


Date Title Questioner
28 May 2019, 4:19 p.m. Personal Injury: Compensation Joseph Johnson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to establish an ombudsman with legal powers to enforce decisions on third party personal injury claims before court proceedings are initiated.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government has no plans to bring forward such proposals.

It is for parties to personal injury claims to resolve their differences in the first instance, making use of pre-action protocols which put in place procedures designed to encourage earlier resolution of disputes.

Currently there is a portal for lower value road traffic accident (RTA), public liability and employer liability claims which assists in achieving settlement of disputes. In addition, the Government is introducing a new IT Platform, in April 2020, which will enable RTA claimants to communicate effectively with the at-fault insurer to progress and settle their claim during the pre-action stage.

Where disputes cannot be resolved by these means, the claimant has the option to pursue court proceedings.

28 May 2019, 4:14 p.m. Insurance Companies: Civil Proceedings Joseph Johnson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure that greater numbers of insurance cases are resolved before they reach court proceedings.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The vast majority of claims against insurers in the civil justice system settle before court proceedings stage, as reflected in the statistics published by the Compensation Recovery Unit.

Settlements are a matter for the parties to an individual dispute to reach agreement on, but the Government seeks to promote pre-court settlement – for example by the development of pre-action protocols.

In terms of road traffic accident related personal injury claims under £5,000, the Government is introducing a new IT Platform, in April 2020, which will enable such claimants to communicate effectively with the at-fault insurer to efficiently progress and settle their claim during the pre-action stage without the need for court proceedings.

24 May 2019, 12:59 p.m. Tax Avoidance Joseph Johnson

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to ensure the accuracy of information provided to his Department by HMRC on the 2019 Loan Charge.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Treasury has worked very closely with HMRC throughout the development of the policy. Officials in both departments work within the framework of the Civil Service Code, which sets out the standards of behaviour, including objectivity and honesty, by which Civil Servants must abide. The code is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-code/the-civil-service-code.

More details on the tax policy making process are available here: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130102201052/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/junebudget_tax_policy_making.pdf.

21 May 2019, 2:42 p.m. Insurance Companies Joseph Johnson

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to make sure that adequate interim payments to third parties are made promptly by insurance companies after those companies have accepted liability.

Answer (John Glen)

The FCA is an independent body responsible for regulating and supervising the financial services industry. It sets the conduct standards required of insurance firms in relation to their business.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. It is important that insurers treat customers fairly and the Government supports the FCA in carrying out its responsibilities.

21 May 2019, 2:42 p.m. Insurance Companies Joseph Johnson

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to stop insurance companies delaying interim payments to third parties to take advantage of potential changes to the Ogden discount rate.

Answer (John Glen)

The FCA is an independent body responsible for regulating and supervising the financial services industry. It sets the conduct standards required of insurance firms in relation to their business.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. It is important that insurers treat customers fairly and the Government supports the FCA in carrying out its responsibilities.

21 May 2019, 2:42 p.m. Insurance Companies Joseph Johnson

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to introduce a legally binding code of conduct for insurance companies to protect (a) defendants and (b) claimants from the start of a third party claim to the final settlement.

Answer (John Glen)

The FCA is an independent body responsible for regulating and supervising the financial services industry. It sets the conduct standards required of insurance firms in relation to their business.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. It is important that insurers treat customers fairly and the Government supports the FCA in carrying out its responsibilities.

16 May 2019, 10:51 a.m. South Eastern Rail Franchise: Compensation Joseph Johnson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will immediately implement Delay Repay 15 compensation on the South Eastern franchise.

Answer (Andrew Jones)

Delay Repay from 15 minutes (DR15) will be implemented when the new SouthEastern franchise starts.

5 Apr 2019, 11:07 a.m. Cancer: Health Services Joseph Johnson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the NHS workforce is able meet rising referrals for suspected cases of cancer.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has commissioned Baroness Dido Harding, working closely with Sir David Behan, to lead a number of programmes to engage with key National Health Service interests to develop a detailed workforce implementation plan. These programmes will consider detailed proposals to grow the workforce rapidly, including staff working on cancer, consider additional staff and skills required, build a supportive working culture in the NHS and ensure first rate leadership for NHS staff.

14 Feb 2019, 3:35 p.m. M20: Road Traffic Control Joseph Johnson

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking through Operation Brock to prepare for potential congestion around junctions 3, 4 and 5 of the M25 motorway as a result of disruption on the M20 and M26 in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The plans for Operation Brock have been designed to keep traffic flowing in both directions on the M20 in the event of disruption to freight and other transport across the Channel. It would also thereby alleviate traffic congestion across the neighbouring strategic and local road network. The deployment of the M26 to queue Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) temporarily will only be done in the unlikely event that capacity has been exceeded elsewhere under Brock contingency planning. The routes that HGVs will be directed to travel under Brock will be clearly signposted, and have been designed to minimise disruption on other roads, such as the M25, as much as possible.