HC Deb 08 November 1973 vol 863 c1148
3. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce the results of his review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Mark Carlisle)

It is too early to say when the working party which my right hon. Friend has set up to review the scheme will report.

Mrs. Castle

Is not this delay intolerable, since the committee has been sitting for six months? Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that my constituent, Mrs. Joan Rosina Carroll, formerly Smith, who was severely criminally injured by her husband, is still without a penny of compensation? In view of the intolerable delay, will the Government act administratively, as they have power to do, to remove Section 7 from the scheme?

Mr. Carlisle

I think that the right hon. Lady's talk about intolerable delay is somewhat unreasonable. The scheme has been in existence since 1964 on a non-statutory basis. Any review of it to put it on a statutory basis will be accepted by everyone as being a matter of considerable depth. It was only in April this year that my right hon. Friend announced that a working party was being set up. The working party is under way and has already put out a consultative document inviting the views of various interested bodies on its terms of reference. It must have time to consider the views that it has received.