Crime tax taxing
Red tape will cost crime victims $7.3m
More than half the money gained from the Government's $50 "offender levy" will be chewed up by administration costs before getting to the victims it is intended for. The levy will be paid by convicted offenders at sentencing and is forecast to collect $13.6 million in its first four years. But a Herald calculation based on Budget figures shows it will cost $7.3 million to set up and run over the same period. The money is to go into a victims' fund that will help with one-off expenses not covered by ACC or other state help, such as travel to court and additional counselling. Introducing the policy last year, Prime Minister John Key denied the levy would become just another unpaid fine. However, the $13.6 million it is forecast to collect is based on the assumption that only 69 per cent of offenders will pay.
Yes, yes, we all knew this would be hard to administer and that bloody administration would chew up a chunk of it, and as much a critic as I am of this National/ACT regime, their tax on crime to go to victims is just. Christ knows that victims get bugger all nothing as it stands, and if the travel costs to and from Court can be covered for the victim, then it’s fitting that it comes out of the pocket of the people harming society rather than those who have been harmed.