Usdaw calls on new Justice Secretary to stop cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme
Usdaw, the trade union representing shopworkers, has urged new Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to stop proposed cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
The union said it has made an eleventh hour call to halt the imminent cuts to be forced through a Parliamentary Committee on Monday.
Usdaw argues that under the revised scheme, nearly half of all victims currently eligible for compensation would receive nothing and over a third would see their compensation severely reduced. The union added that the majority of members it has recently supported to make claims, including more than 80% of those injured or traumatised in an armed robbery, would no longer be eligible for compensation.
In a letter to Chris Grayling, Usdaw’s General Secretary John Hannett said: "These cuts will have a profound effect on the innocent victims of serious crime who have no other means to obtain compensation. Many injured victims of crime, especially those in manual occupations, suffer financially as they cannot work while injured.
"Many victims say that the Scheme also helps them to recover emotionally from their attack. It provides recognition of their pain and suffering and gives them a sense of closure when a payment is received. This is very important in helping victims get back to work, especially when they work with the public and can feel very exposed and vulnerable in the workplace after an attack.
"The Government case for the cuts to the Scheme has been based on the need to place the Scheme on a stable financial footing. However, the Impact Assessment makes clear that the costs of the Scheme are stable and the 2012 accounts, which were released after the announcement of the new draft Scheme, make clear that costs have been much reduced.
"In the circumstances, and as a result of the new financial evidence contained in the recently released 2012 accounts, as a new minister I urge you to reconsider the proposed cuts due to the very serious impact they will have on some of the most vulnerable people - the innocent victims of violent crime and the children and other dependants of those killed by criminals."
If approved, the revised scheme will come into force from 30 September 2012.
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