What a good idea, criminal bludgers to have their benefits docked

Mark Mitchell has proposed that criminal bludgers have their benefits docked if they don’t comply with court orders.

Concerns have been raised about a new bill that could see benefit payments cut for offenders who breach their community sentences.

Parliament’s Social Services Committee is currently calling for public submissions on the the Social Security Amendment Bill, which was put forward by National MP Mark Mitchell.

The bill would allow Corrections to have benefit payments for offenders stopped if they continued to disregard written warnings to comply with their community sentences.

Offenders serving community sentences are on probation, which means they are able to serve their sentences in the community but with restrictions on their movements.

Some organisations are worried about the impact the bill could have, and have questioned if it will only drive offenders to re-offend.

Surprisingly the Sensible Sentencing Trust is upset about this.

Manawatu-based Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Scott Guthrie said he would oppose the bill because people needed to be able to live.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a criminal or not,” he said. “If we do that we’re going to see an increase in the crime rate.

“If people have no money they are going to steal stuff.”

The bill would allow for offender with children to only have their benefits cut by 50 per cent, but Guthrie said any cuts to someone supporting a child was not an option.

“If they are going to cut the benefit by 50 per cent there is no way one adult and one child can live on that.

“That’s just laughable.”

Actually, no. What is laughable is our catch and release justice system and criminals thumbing their nose at court orders.

Predictably the crim-huggers are upset.

Roger Brooking, an alcohol and drug counsellor in Wellington, said the bill was creating a “recipe for disaster”.

“There is all kinds of reasons why offenders don’t comply.”

Brooking said he had heard offenders complain that their probation officers were not there to help, but were always there to tell them off if they did anything wrong.

“It alienates offenders from their probation officers.”

Holding down a job was something that was often difficult for offenders, he said.

All sorts of reasons? Yeah, like they are ratbags and criminals.

I think this is a  good idea. The alternative of course is to return the scumbags to jail.


– Fairfax

Do you want ad-free access to our Daily Crossword?

Do you want access to daily Incite Politics Magazine articles?

Silver Subscriptions and above go in the draw to win a $500 prize to be drawn at the end of March

Not yet one of our awesome subscribers? Click Here and join us.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.