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Written Answers. - Criminal Injuries Compensation.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 222. Mr. Shatter Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on John O'Donoghue Zoom on John O'Donoghue  the total sums paid out in the past four years by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal to applicants entitled to compensation; his plans to provide for compensation for pain and suffering; and the proposed modifications he intends to make to the existing scheme. [10604/02]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): Information on John O'Donoghue Zoom on John O'Donoghue The total amounts paid out in each of the past four years by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal to applicants entitled to compensation is as follows: 1998 –€3.834 million; 1999 –€3.657 million; 2000 –€3.329 million; and 2001 –€2.951 million.

The Deputy will appreciate that the amount payable in any year is dependent on the number of claims lodged and the number of claims which can be finalised in each year. In each of the years mentioned, all claims which had been finalised during the year were paid out.

The Deputy will be aware that a review of the criminal injuries compensation scheme is being undertaken by my Department at present. It is intended that the review will be a comprehensive one, taking into account all relevant questions and situations. Submissions for proposed changes have been received from relevant organisations and these submissions are receiving consideration as part of the review. In addition, my Department is consulting compensation authorities in other jurisdictions in relation to the operation of criminal injuries compensation schemes to identify best practice in advance of making proposals in relation to the Irish scheme.

I can also inform the Deputy that the European Commission has presented a Green Paper in relation to compensation to victims of crime. Discussions are ongoing with the Commission in relation to the proposals for change contained in this Green Paper.

In relation to specific proposals for changes to the existing scheme, I am sure the Deputy will appreciate that it would not be proper for me to make decisions in this regard in advance of receiving the report. While the scheme is a non-statutory one any proposals to change it, which may be recommended as part of the review, will require the approval of Government. A revised scheme will be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas.


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