§ Mr. Cohen
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reactions Ministers in his Department received to Her Majesty's Government's recent White Paper on victims of crime at the conference organised by 565W the Association of County Councils and the National Association of Victim Support Schemes; what representations he has had on the White Paper so far; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Mellor
At the conference the decision to increase substantially the level of grant given to the NAVSS was warmly welcomed, but concern was expressed that the Home Office was not yet making grants to individual local schemes. My right hon. and learned Friend has, as yet, received no representations relating to the White Paper which contained the Government's response to the First Report (Session 1984–85) of the Select Committee on Home Affairs.
The proposals referred to in the White Paper are being pursued. In particular, he will be giving careful and sympathetic consideration in the coming months to the matter of financial aid for victims support at local and regional level.
§ Mr. Mellor
Yes. In 1984–85 the Government grant was £58,500, but in 1985–86 a grant of up to £120,000 will be paid. The increase is mainly to enable additional staff to be appointed and the higher costs of larger premises to be met. No grant whatsoever was paid to the victim support movement before the Government were elected in 1979.