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Fines payments out of control

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

23 November 2005

Fines payments out of control

National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says the $637 million in outstanding fines owed to the Government shows the infringement system has been spiralling out of control since Labour took office.

He is commenting on Ministry of Justice figures supplied to him in answers to written questions. They show that in the 2004/05 year there were $637 million in outstanding and overdue fines, compared with $310.8 million in 1999/00. The amount of overdue fines has increased by 82% in that time.

"These figures show the system is not working," says Mr Power.

"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 amount of fines outstanding has doubled under Labour.

"And you really know the system is not working when 56,589 people owe money for 10 or more fines, and nearly 180,000 people owe money for fines more than five years old.

"This is another example of how law and order is being run under this Labour-led Government. Corrections is having trouble coping with overcrowding, police are seriously under-resourced, and the courts system is clogged.

"None of these crucial portfolios is in good shape

"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."

ENDS


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