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The Government has confirmed that it’s handing out tens of thousands of dollars to some of New Zealand’s worst criminals with no checks and balances to ensure that money isn’t used to further a life of crime, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“National had plan to ensure that compensation payments for offenders who were abused in state care were placed in a trust and used only for rehabilitative and integrative purposes.

“Victims and their families are right to be upset that Labour has scrapped this plan and is instead handing out blank cheques to some of the worst murderers and sex offenders with no caveats on how the money can be spent.

“Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni today could not explain how the Government will be able to ensure that offenders who receive compensation payments cannot use the money to further their criminal offending and create more victims.

“She continued to hide behind the Government’s legal obligation to compensate, but the fact is National came up with a solution that ensured there were checks and balances on the payments and there’s no reason why the Government could not have adopted that solution.

“This Government has forgotten about the victims, who should have been taken into consideration when it made the irresponsible decision to hand out blank cheques to some of our worst offenders.

“The highest payment that the Labour-NZ First Government has handed out so far is worth $50,000 and there’s nothing stopping the offender who received this money from using it to support more criminal activity.

“Now that the check and balances have been scrapped by the Government, there is no telling what these serious criminals will spend the large sums of taxpayers’ money on.”

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