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Labour must take blame for fines dodgers

Simon Power MP National Party Law & Order Spokesman

26 February 2006

Labour must take blame for fines dodgers

National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says the Labour Government must take full blame for the millions of dollars owed by fines dodgers going unpaid.

He is commenting on the release of a list of New Zealand's top ten fines dodgers, the worst of whom owes $1.8 million.

"Courts Minister Rick Barker can make all the excuses under the sun, but it won't change the fact that under his Government the situation has got worse, not better.

"In 1999/00, there were $310.8 million in outstanding and overdue fines. Now it appears that figure has topped $671 million.

"Labour has been claiming for several years that its softly, softly approach to repayment of fines is working, but the figures prove that is not true.

"The top ten list shows the Courts Department is inept, and Mr Barker faces an urgent challenge to give the courts more teeth to enforce fines payments.

"This Government must get tough with people who owe money for fines. By going easy on them they are letting them wriggle away from their responsibilities," says Mr Power.

ENDS

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