§ Mr. Michael
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of the unit fine scheme on the number of people received into Prison Department establishments for fine defaults.340W
§ Mr. Michael
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he gave to returning the unit fine system to(a) the unit values used in the four pilot projects or (b) some other values instead of the values currently in force.
§ Mr. Jack
Unit values in any unit fine scheme must be such as to allow the courts to impose fines at up to the maximum levels approved by Parliament. The maximum unit values in the four pilot projects reflected the then requirement to be able to achieve a maximum fine of £2,000.The increase in the maximum fine that can be imposed by a magistrates court to £5,000 means that it would not be feasible to change the current maximum unit value of £100 without making a corresponding change to the maximum number of units available to express the seriousness of an offence. Having looked carefully at the scheme, we concluded that changes in this area would not address the anomalous results that have arisen in certain cases. We therefore announced our intention to abolish the scheme.
§ Mr. Maclennan
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Mr. Michael) of 26 January,Official Report, column 685, if he will place in the Library the information collected by his Department on the operation of the unit fines system.