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Another fines gimmick from Government

Tony Ryall National Police Spokesman

17 February 2004

Another fines gimmick from Government

The Government should be doing more to collect the $500 million dollars owed in outstanding fines, says National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall.

He is commenting on a Government advertising campaign launched today targeting young male fine defaulters.

"A couple of weeks of billboards on buses is nothing more than a costly gimmick," says Mr Ryall. "It misses two-thirds of the offenders and people without cars!

"Defaulters know the Government isn't serious when thousands of dollars worth of fines can be replaced with a few hours of community work. Last year a North Island woman had $36,000 in fines wiped in return for 250 hours of community work.

Mr Ryall is also calling for a greater use of attachment orders (automatic deductions) on wages and benefits, and the seizure of assets to pay back these debts.

"If the Government was serious about fine defaulters it would be accelerating proposed government department information-sharing legislation which would make it easier find defaulters.

"I suspect this latest move is a response to National's strong summer campaign highlighting the half billion of outstanding fines," said Mr Ryall.


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