AN MP has labelled Government cuts to compensation for injured crime victims as “punitive and draconian”.
This week the coalition pushed through reductions in compensation for more than 90 per cent of seriously injured victims of violent crime and for the dependents of murder victims.
The vote means that awards under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme will be abolished or reduced from Monday, November 26.
Easington MP Grahame Morris said: “Thousands of seriously injured victims of crime and their families have relied on these payments.
“I and my fellow Labour MPs urged ministers to at least soften the blow.
“We were ignored.
“They forced these cruel and unnecessary changes through the Commons in a late-night, last-minute vote.
“It is a truly callous way to treat seriously injured victims of crime and the dependents of victims of homicide, who have already suffered so much.
“We will continue to put the interests of victims first, but I am deeply disappointed that Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs chose to ignore the plight facing so many seriously injured victims of crime, and voted for these cruel and unnecessary cuts.
“In my own constituency alone, over the next two years over 100 seriously injured victims of crime will see their criminal injuries compensation either abolished or cut.”
Mr Morris added: “I therefore urge anyone who has been injured in the course of a crime to submit an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority as soon as possible.
“Any claim made after Monday, November 26, would qualify for far less compensation, and half of seriously injured victims will cease to be eligible for any payment.”
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme currently supports over 30,000 injured victims each year with relatively small payments which help to make up for lost pay whilst victims of crime are unable to work due to their injuries.
When the Government’s cuts take effect compensation will cease to be available to victims who sustain injuries such as facial disfigurement, permanent speech impediment or multiple fractured ribs.
Victims of dog attacks will no longer receive any compensation, no matter how serious their injuries.