No consideration has been given to victims of crime as the Government writes blank cheques for tens of thousands of dollars to some of New Zealand’s worst criminals, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.
“Victims and their families are right to feel outraged and shunned by this Government which has begun paying out some of our worst murderers and sex offenders for abuse they suffered while in state care as children, with no caveats on how they can use that money.
“The issue of compensation payments for offenders is one that National grappled with and we put plans in place to restrict how the large sums of money could be used.
“Victims were always at the heart of our plans. We took care to balance their needs, with the need to acknowledge and compensate for the abuse suffered by offenders.
“But this Government has tossed victims’ feelings aside and is instead handing out tens of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to these very serious offenders with no safeguards in place.
“National wanted to ensure that the money didn’t go towards furthering a life of crime so after first being used to settle any claims from victims, the money was to go into a trust which the offenders could then apply to for rehabilitation and reintegrative purposes.
“But by ignoring this solution and handing out payments with no strings attached, the Government not only given no thought to the needs of victims and their families, it has also washed its hands of the offenders.
“Giving these offenders thousands of dollars to spend how they like does them a disservice and removes the ability to ensure the money is spent on things that will help them reintegrate, like mental health support or a car to get to work.
“Victims and their families will never stop paying the price for the crimes committed against them by these offenders. They deserve better than this.”