£3 insurance levy to help crime victims

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The Independent Online

Plans to charge every household a £3 levy on its home insurance policy to fund government compensation for victims of violent crime are being drawn up by the Home Office.

David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, is planning a shake-up in the way the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme is run to ensure that all victims continue to be compensated for injuries, such as losing an eye or the use of a limb. Mr Blunkett is considering handing the scheme's running to private insurance firms and is also keen to add a surcharge to fines to raise cash for it.

The proposals, leaked to The Sunday Times, have already met opposition from the Treasury and are likely to prove unpopular with back-bench Labour MPs.

The Home Office reacted angrily to the leak yesterday and implied it was part of plot to stop its proposals being explored. "We have absolutely nothing to say about a document not yet approved that has been leaked ... with the objective of preventing radical ideas from being properly discussed," a spokesman said.