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Tory Led Coalition Government Continue Their Attack On The Vulnerable

The Tory mantra "Tough on Crime, Tough...." is a smokescreen for their true morality and values of attacking the most vulnerable in society.

Following the disgraceful attack on compensation for those injured and murdered by criminals, the Tory led coalition have a new slogan:

"Tories: Tough on crime, Tough on the VICTIMS of crime!"

Commenting on the introduction of cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme earlier this week, (Tuesday 27th November) the Communication Workers Union said that the government has acted quick to make the lives of victims of crime worse.

Cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) were pushed through the Delegated Legislation Committee on 1st November when the government stuffed it full of MPs obliged to vote with the government.

It had previously been withdrawn following cross-party concern at the proposals. It was then voted through by 289 votes to 209 against on 7th November.

CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said:

"The government says they are tough on crime, but really they are tough on the victims of crime. Victims who suffer both minor and serious injuries with life-changing consequences such as scarring, disfigurement and disability - not to mention the horror and rehabilitation - are being hung out to dry by the coalition.

The government has wasted no time in fast-tracking these latest cuts into force. It now means that the victims of violent crime - such as muggings and dog attacks - who are unable to secure compensation through the courts or insurance companies will be left with nowhere to turn for help. Many others will only qualify for vastly reduced sums.

Cutting CICS is one of the cruellest acts of this coalition government yet, taking compensation from the victims of crime who have nowhere else to turn when they are at their most vulnerable. A piece of society has died and the UK is a poorer place today as a result of these cuts."

Shopworkers' Union Usdaw had campaigned against the cuts since they were tabled by the Coalition Government as part of a £50m saving.

General Secretary John Hannett said:

"It's a disgraceful indictment of this Government and those MPs who are happy to see seriously injured but innocent victims of crime lose out on payments from the scheme. These payments helped the victims replace lost wages and were a token acknowledgement from Government that victims deserve help after traumatic incidents.

"From today people who are seriously injured after an assault, who sustain injuries such as broken ribs or facial disfigurement will get nothing while even more seriously injured victims will see their compensation slashed by up to 60 per cent. Those most seriously injured will lose most from the drastic cuts to compensation for loss of earnings. Surely this is not what most MPs came into politics for.

"Usdaw will continue to campaign against these cuts and to protect our members, many of whom live in fear of robbery or assault, and to give them the protection and support they deserve."

Effects of the cuts in the scheme include:

  1. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme awards compensation to between 30,000 and 40,000 people each year who are seriously injured following a crime of violence. The scheme is rigidly policed and can only make awards to victims who cannot obtain recompense from any other source, such as their assailant.

  2. The cuts will mean that victims of violent crime who suffer injuries such as permanent speech impairment, multiple broken ribs, post traumatic epileptic fits or burns and scarring that cause minor facial disfigurement, will no longer be eligible for any compensation.

  3. Victims who suffer injuries such as significant facial scarring, punctured or collapsed lungs, permanent brain injury resulting in impaired balance and headaches, fractured joints including elbows, knees and vertebra, resulting in continual significant disability, will have any compensation reduced by up to 60%.

  4. New conditions for payments for loss of earnings will limit payments to the level of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), currently just £85 a week. In addition, payments will also be limited to those who are never able to work again, or only in a severely reduced capacity. Compensation for loss of earnings will also be denied to any victims with a broken work record during the previous 3 years.

Source: CWU / USDAW

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