May 24 2013 Latest news:
Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Ilford North MP Lee Scott has backed the government’s criminal compensation scheme as providing a fair deal for victims of “major traumas” despite union criticisms.
Mr Scott voted in favour of a revised Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in Parliament this morning which will see pay-outs for some injuries to victims of crime scrapped.
He said lower “tariffs” of injuries will be removed, which would mean injuries such as moderate burns, minor head injuries or permanent partial deafness in one ear no longer being eligible for government compensation.
He said: “It’s putting the impetus on people who’ve had major trauma and putting money into that and some of the minor injuries it’s stopping.
“It’s fair to everyone in cases where people have the most problems, the most hardship.”
The scheme provides compensation to people who suffer criminal acts of violence once they meet eligibility criteria.
A delegated legislation committee made up of 18 MPs backed it, with the vote going 9-7 in favour of the scheme.
It has been criticised by Usdaw [Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers] which is campaigning on behalf of retail staff injured in robberies and assaults at work.
John Hannett, the union’s general secretary, said: “Not only has the Tory-led coalition slashed vital financial support for innocent victims of crime, it has had the temerity to try and dress this up as ‘doing the right thing’ for them.”
The union said the scheme could come into effect from Monday, but Mr Scott said it must still be presented to the House of Commons where objections could trigger a full debate.
A £500,000 hardship fund will be set up for victims of crime who are temporarily unable to work and who are not in receipt of statutory sick pay or employer support.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman 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 payments well after the crime has been committed.”