The proposal to recover social security assistance from compensation awards does not have any appreciable negative impact on competition within the insurance and personal injury market. The effect of the legislation for this proposal will bring Scotland back into line with the rest of the UK with regards to the recovery of social security assistance from compensation. As most insurance providers operate within the whole of the UK, the compensation recovery mechanism is long-standing and an accepted part of the settlement process. Furthermore, the proposal will have no impact on competition by limiting the number or range of suppliers as the legislation will apply to all providers of insurance and potential compensators equally. There will be no reduction on insurance providers’ incentives to compete vigorously. Consequently, consumers will not have their choice of insurance providers limited by the proposal.
The other proposals within the Bill are not anticipated to impact or negatively limit the number or range of suppliers as these provisions are intended to improve existing processes or introduce new processes within a government agency (Social Security Scotland). As a result, there are no anticipated impacts on competition.
In terms of choices and information available to consumers, which in this case are clients of public services and their representatives, these should be increased as the proposals have been developed to improve the social security system and create greater flexibility for clients.
The Scottish Government does not expect there to be any significant impact on the operational business of local authorities or health boards as a result of introducing this Bill.
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