Nia Griffith MP turned up at a parliamentary committee specifically to urge the government to drop controversial plans to cut payments to the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme. Government proposals would end payments to victims mauling by dangerous dog including postal workers and children, as well as to victims of criminal injury who suffered any of a raft of so-called minor injuries including multiple broken ribs, who are currently eligible for a payment between £1,000 and £2,000. Cuts would be made to payments currently ranging from £2,500 to £8,000 for more serious injuries such as fractured joints and significant facial scarring. With opposition coming from both sides, the government minister took the unusual step of withdrawing the legislation for further consideration.
Nia Griffith MP said
“ I was not on the duty rota for this committee, but I went along to beg the minister to have a re-think. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is there as a last resort, for victims of crime when payment cannot be recovered from the perpetrators of the crime or from insurance cover. These are modest sums awarded under stringent conditions to the victims of crime, many of whom suffer loss of earnings because of their injuries.
It is particularly necessary for those on low pay such as the third of front-line retail workers who do not earn enough to qualify for statutory sick pay. Victims of criminal injury also include people such as health workers injured by violent patients and postal workers attacked by dangerous dogs – we cannot compensate for the trauma of an attack but we should at least as a society provide some modest financial help, so we will continue to put pressure on the government to abandon plans to cut the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme. ”