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Where is the prisoner compo legislation?

Hon. Tony Ryall MP National Law and Order spokesman

28 October 2004

Where is the prisoner compo legislation?

The Government has had at least 10 weeks since the prisoner compensation issue hit the headlines to draft a law stopping such claims, but the country is still waiting, says National's Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall.

"Where is the legislation?

"This Government is full of hot air. Helen Clark, Phil Goff, and Rick Barker talk tough but do nothing. And while they do nothing, the compensation claims by murderers and rapists for 'hurt feelings' and alleged mistreatment pile up.

"Up to 200 of the worst behaved prisoners have filed claims since this sorry saga began, and this Government has sat and watched. There have even been reports of claims being rushed through to beat the law change.

"At this rate they don't need to hurry," Mr Ryall says.

"National said there would be an avalanche of claims if the Government did not move quickly, and we've been proved right.

"Helen Clark refused Dr Brash's offer to help push through urgent legislation to stop the rorts, and her Government has since gone on to defend a prisoner's right to make such claims.

"They has known since April that these payouts were coming. Where is the solution?

"On 27 September, Associate Justice Minister Rick Barker said Cabinet was to consider a report banning payouts, and that a bill would be drafted 'immediately' afterwards: 'We're working very quickly on this,' he said.

"If these ministers think they can simply make an announcement and hope the issue will go away, they are wrong. The public wants this sorted out now," Mr Ryall says.

"National will stop such prisoner compo payouts."

ENDS

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