'Crude tariff' of criminal injuries scheme attacked: Plan to save pounds 250 million 'makes victims pay'

THE HOME OFFICE intends to save pounds 250m between now and the turn of the century through the controversial shake-up of criminal injuries compensation, which became the focus of a furious Commons row yesterday.

Whitehall outlined its projected savings yesterday after John Smith, the Labour leader, hit out at John Major over the planned changes to the scheme. 'Isn't it bad enough that crime has doubled under this Government without making the victims pay for it?' Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith told the Commons that a police officer seriously injured in a criminal attack was last year awarded pounds 121,000 in compensation, whereas under the new scheme he would be entitled to only pounds 7,500. 'What justification can there be in that?' Mr Smith asked.

Mr Major replied: 'We are seeking to produce a better, more effective, more efficient scheme that provides for speedier compensation.'

Under the new scheme - details of which were first disclosed in the Independent - the individual assessments by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board will be replaced by what Mr Smith yesterday called a 'crude tariff' system, under which payments will be made according to the type of specific injury suffered by the victim.

The proposed changes came under attack from peers last week. Lord Carlisle, the chairman of the board, said the new system suffered from 'fundamental flaws'.

Lord Ackner, a former Law Lord, and Lord Irvine, a leading Labour QC, suggested that the Government did not have the powers to amend the scheme in the way it was doing.

The Home Office claims that the new scheme will result in much faster payouts; that Britain pays out more in criminal injuries compensation than the rest of the European Union put together; and that more than half of claimants are likely to do better under the new scheme. But the department confirmed that the estimated total payout of pounds 500m in compensation between now and the end of the century would be halved by the planned changes.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading and innovative con...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue