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Prisoners will still pocket the cash

Prisoners will still pocket the cash

National’s Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall, says Labour’s bill to curb compensation to prisoners is “too liberal for anyone’s good”.

He is commenting after Labour’s deal with the Greens to get the Prisoners and Victims Claims Bill through Parliament. The Greens won a promise that the bill would expire after two or three years, and that Labour would consider creating an inspectorate to tackle prisoner abuse.

“This liberal bill will still allow prisoners to pocket the cash. And it completely ignores the feelings of the victims of crime. The victims don’t want money, they want prisoner payouts stopped.

“Under this bill, if victims are not identifiable, do not lodge a claim, or are considered to have not suffered enough, the prisoner will be able to keep some or all of the money.

“Many prisoners – especially drug dealers, who have no obvious victim – will still collect the cash under this bill.

“Labour is clearly determined to make victims re-live their ordeal while continuing to tolerate compensation along with the legal expense. This is not justice.

“The outgoing Minister of Justice, Mr Goff, has got this completely wrong.

“Labour rejected a far tidier solution offered by National – to stop the compensation being awarded to prisoners – full stop,” says Mr Ryall.

Ends

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