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Prisoners still getting more compo than victims

Simon Power MP National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

14 April 2008

Prisoners still getting more compo than victims

Prisoners are still getting more compensation than their victims, despite Labour's claim that this would not be the case, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

He is releasing figures which show that five prisoners have received $35,081.94 in compensation while only $19,960.67 has gone to two victims.

"Labour likes victims to think it cares about them, but it's their Prisoners and Victims' Claims Act that still allows prisoners to walk away with pockets full of money.

"At the time Labour passed this law, Phil Goff said it 'will restrict compensation for inmates to exceptional cases... Where payments are made, it maximises the prospect that victims will be the beneficiaries ..'

"But that clearly isn't happening.

"As long as there is reluctance on the part of victims - caused by either fear or unwillingness to re-live a traumatic event - to make claims, then offenders are likely to continue to benefit, and that's what's happening.

"Labour also predicted the Act would be a deterrent to further claims because damages would go to victims, but between when it came into force, in October 2005, and July last year there have been 33 claims waiting adjudication totalling $4 million - an average of $121,681 per prisoner.

"Rather than benefiting victims of crime, Labour's law remains a cash cow for prisoners.

"National's victims policy, released recently, says any money left in the Victims Claims Trust Account after victims are paid out should be put into our proposed Victim Compensation Scheme to help victims with out-of-pocket expenses not covered by ACC or other state help.

"Labour's record when it comes to victims has been seriously deficient, and National will put that right."


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