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Prisoner compo law must be retrospective

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

4 October 2004

Prisoner compo law must be retrospective

National Party Leader Don Brash is accusing Labour of taking a weak, PC approach to the issue of prisoner compensation.

"New Zealanders are outraged by these payments and the fact that the Government is allowing them. National will stop this gravy train and backdate it.

"If Helen Clark had taken up National's offer of support at the end of the last parliamentary session instead of playing politics, I'm confident a freeze on the prisoner payouts would already be in place.

"Instead, what we have from the Government today is an admission that some of the payouts are set to proceed. This is a nonsense that law-abiding New Zealanders say should stop.

"These people should not be allowed to claim compensation. It should be banned, and the ban should be retrospective. If Labour can pass retrospective legislation to save its MP Harry Duynhoven then surely it's an outrage to suggest it can't be done in this instance."

Dr Brash is commenting on moves by the Government to draft a law that will still allow prisoners to claim compensation, at great taxpayer expense, leaving it to a judge to decide how much of it goes to victims.

"These people have deprived their victims and their victims' families of their rights. They should have access to avenues of complaint when they feel their basic rights have been abused, but that's all. To let them sue for hundreds of thousands of dollars, while racking up massive legal aid bills, is abhorrent.

"Let's take the law back to where it was before the PC brigade started handing out money to violent offenders. Let's take compensation payouts off the table," Dr Brash says.

Ends


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