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Justice budget: nothing to see here, move along

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

23 May 2008

Justice budget: nothing to see here, move along

National Party Justice & Corrections spokesman Simon Power wants to know what was new in the Budget for law and order at a time when violent crime has increased by 43% since Labour came into office.

“There was nothing new to tackle the scourge of ‘P’.

“Nothing to hit the gangs.

“Nothing to reduce the escalating rate of violent youth crime, or reduce truancy.

“At a time when gangs and the manufacture and distribution of ‘P’ are rampant, and when violent crime, particularly violent youth crime, is at record levels, this Budget had nothing new to tackle those problems.

“But what we did get – at a time when New Zealanders are feeling less safe – was yet another Labour bureaucracy.

“Somehow, Michael Cullen could put all those serious issues to the back of his mind and find $5.8 million to establish a Sentencing Council, whose main aim will be to reduce the length of prison sentences by 25%.

“At a time when there are serious deficiencies right across the justice sector, that $5.8 million would be far better spent elsewhere – on victims of crime, or on innovative ways of dealing with youth offenders, or to add more work schemes in prisons.

“But I guess when Helen Clark decided to put two caretaker ministers from the 1980s in charge of law and order then it was always unlikely we would be seeing any fresh ideas to make the public feel safer.”


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