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Government's shame as it cuts compensation to injured victims

Date: 27 November 2012 Injured victims of crime will see their compensation payments slashed or withdrawn completely from today (Tuesday 27 November) after the Government introduced changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

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."

Notes for editors:

  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
  5. To view previous Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news

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