Gov’t trumpets $25m generated by ‘offender levy’

by Sol Dolor05 Apr 2017
More than $25m has been generated by the government’s “offender levy,” Justice Minister Amy Adams has revealed.

Since 2010, a $50 levy has been collected at the point of sentencing to fund programs that support victims in New Zealand under the Sentencing (Offender Levy) Amendment Act 2009.

“In the 2015/16 financial year, $4.1m generated by the levy was invested in support and services which helped around 5,700 victims. This included $1.7m to support sexual violence victims, such as by employing specialist advisors who helped around 1,400 victims through the court process,” Adams said.

Since the start of the program, the levy has also funded grants for victims to travel to court, restorative justice, and parole hearings. It has also funded grants for families of homicide victims to help with funeral expenses, lost income, and counselling costs, she said.

Nonetheless, the government is pleased that collection for the “offender levy” has been dropping because of an overall reduction in crime, Adams said. In fiscal year 2015-16, $3.2m was collected through the levy, while this year is tracking toward $3m.

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