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Ministers ward off Tory revolt on crime compensation

1 November 2012

3:39 PM

1 November 2012

3:39 PM

The government has just managed to ward off another possible revolt in the House of Commons from Tory MPs. It failed earlier this autumn to get a revision of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme through a delegated legislation committee when four Conservative MPs present refused to support it. The revised scheme will see half of all those seriously injured following a violent crime receiving no compensation at all and nearly 90 per cent of victims receiving less money. So John Redwood, Angie Bray, Jonathan Evans and Bob Blackman threatened to rebel, leading to Justice Minister Helen Grant withdrawing the legislation from the committee.

Grant brought the legislation before committee again this morning, but this time there were different MPs considering the plans. The Conservative MPs were Robert Buckland, David Evenett, Rebecca Harris, John Howell, Jessica Lee, Bob Neill and Lee Scott. There was one other big change which means those who initially raised concerns and were threatening to rebel if it came down to a vote in the House of Commons, too, are now happy. Grant told the committee that there would be a £500,000 hardship fund for victims of crime who find themselves in ‘real and immediate financial hardship’ as a result of their injury. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said:

‘We are dedicated to preserving compensation to the most seriously-injured victims of crime. But where less serious injuries have been caused, we believe taxpayers’ money is better spent providing support and help rather than what are often small amounts of compensation well after the crime has been committed.

‘We listened carefully to the concerns raised and believe we must do more to help those very low earners who may find themselves in real and immediate financial hardship. We are therefore establishing a £500,000 hardship fund for people who are temporarily unable to work and not in receipt of Statutory Sick Pay or an equivalent employer-provided scheme.’

Remember that John Redwood, hardly the most enthusiastic anti-cuts campaigner in Parliament, made an angry intervention at the committee about the changes to the scheme, saying he hadn’t come into politics to cut compensation for the victims of crime. He now says he is happy that his colleagues have considered the changes and have approved them. It looks as though when this does come before the Commons, those Conservatives who were agitated about the proposals have been sufficiently placated to support it in the division lobbies.

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Show comments
  • Janine

    e-petition against these cuts here:

  • Angry Bob

    and another thing – they’re going to save, what, £50m pa with this? The next two year’s savings at least will be wiped out by the money needed to pay back the bidders for the West coast line fiasco, Virgin and First Group. Good to know that governmental incompetence isn’t being paid for by anyone else.

  • Angry Bob

    placated – yeah, right. This time the government remembered to brief their own MPs – simple as that. Couldn’t make it up.

  • daveyy12

    We need serious cuts and Cameron and Osbourne show how stupid they are. A poxy e50 million pounds. That is what they want to save..

    The Legal aid budget is ripe for pruning and people would actually support the tories. The left will scream but it will be popular. They can cut billions from this..

    No legal aid for going to Europe, legal aid only for defending yourself. Restrict it to a single appeal and only then if you are appealing because you are innocent. Anything else pay for it yourself.

    An example of a Human Rights Lawyer celebrating the deaths of those killed by hurrican Sandy.

  • alexsandr

    Maybe magistrayes should be told to award compensation to victims rather than fining people, and make sure the compensation is paid. Let the criminals pay, not the taxpayer. The law is in place already, just implement it.

    • telemachus

      Even the revised plans leave many victims unable to seek redress for being attacked.
      The Tories lack compassion
      They put deficit reduction before compassion for victims of crime.

      • alexsandr

        did u actually read what i said, tellytubby?

      • telekuka

        did diddums get mugged in the loo?

        • telemachus

          Only as much as all our pockets(except a few of you rich folk) are being mugged on a daily basis by Osborne