Earlier this year the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced that they wanted to cut the amount of compensation paid out to those who had suffered injuries as a result of a criminal act. Though, at the time, the announcement was met with widespread disagreement, initially the MoJ stuck by their plans.
During the last week however, there has been an unexpected reversal by the UK government. The announcement that the recommendations by the MoJ are likely to be reversed by Parliament comes just one week after Chris Grayling replaced Ken Clarke as the Justice Secretary.
The reason for the Ministry of Justice making these recommendations in the first place was that they felt that the money that would be saved by cutting the criminal injury compensation fund would allow for the development of a more comprehensive support service.
Criminal Injury Compensation to go to victims who deserve compensation
After these plans were announced there was widespread criticism of the MoJ and the conservative government. Commentators accused the Conservative government for being ‘out of touch’ and not giving victim’s injuries the importance they deserve. It seems that the recent reversal of these recommendations is an indirect acknowledgement of these concerns and shows that the government wants to show that it is trying to act in the best interest of the victims.
These proposed cuts, and recent reversal, are the latest instalment in a debate which has been going on for nearly a year. The government’s plans to cut £350 million in legal aid funding in key areas has seen extreme points of view argued from both sides. The legal aid cuts would affect many of the areas which are crucial to social justice in the UK and while some see these cuts as a necessity, others worry about the long term implications for the UK justice system.
It seems that the dust clearly hasn’t settled yet. The debate about how we should be saving money is still rife and it will be a long time before a consensus is reached. What is good is that the government are clearly listening to the debate and allowing what they hear to shape their policies.