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David Hutchison's Blog

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Campaign against compensation cuts

An assault victim has spoken out in support of a not-for-profit group’s campaign against Government plans to slash compensation payments for victims of crime.

Mark Miller, 27, who was left with a brain injury following a random attack, says he is “fully against” proposals to reduce payments for loss of earnings.

Currently, an injured crime victim who can no longer work, or who has a limited capacity to do so, is awarded a sum to reflect what he would have been able to earn during his lifetime. But the Government wants to limit this to a level of earnings equivalent to statutory sick pay.

Mark, who was in hospital for two-and-a-half months after being repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on by three youths in an alleyway in Swansea in April 2008, now suffers short-term memory loss and has difficulties with his balance.

He was awarded £246,000 by the Government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS). Of that sum, £190,000 was awarded for his loss of potential earnings as he was unable to complete his degree in management science and now has a very limited capacity to work.

If Mark were to bring his claim following the implementation of the Government’s proposals, his solicitor says he would be awarded around £80,000 for loss of earnings - a cut of nearly 60%.

Karl Tonks, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) said: “Policymakers need to understand that to cut compensation payments for victims of crime is to cut their access to justice.

“The Government needs to rethink these proposals and ensure that vulnerable people do not miss out on the redress they need to help get their lives back on track.”

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