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Prisoners' Compensation Insult To Armed Forces

Prisoners' Compensation Insult To Armed Forces

Tuesday 21 Sep 2004

Deborah Coddington - Press Releases - Crime & Justice

The Labour Government's refusal to act quickly and end the gravy train of compensation for prisoners is an insult to those in our armed forces, ACT New Zealand Associate Justice Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"How is it, Prime Minister, that someone who has stabbed, raped, murdered, innocent New Zealanders, then been locked up, can get thousands of dollars in compensation; yet those who volunteer to protect our country's freedoms are barred under the Crown Proceedings Act 1950 from getting any compensation?" Miss Coddington asked.

"Section 9 of the Act specifically states:

`Crown not liable to pay compensation or damages for death or disablement of members of New Zealand armed forces where pension may be claimed'.

"We recently saw the debacle where an 83-year-old former prisoner of war had to fight for 59 years to get unpaid wages. No way could he get compensation.

"Undoubtedly there is good reason for this section of the Act. But I've spoken with several former members of the armed forces and they are very, very unhappy with Labour's soft approach to convicted felons being able to get money from the taxpayer for so-called breaches of their `human rights'.

"The Prime Minister first invited prisoners to take the Government to court over three years ago. She now needs to end this nonsense. After all, who is more important - convicted criminals or our armed forces?" Miss Coddington said.

ENDS

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