§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the Government's policy towards income-related fines. 
§ Mr. Michael
A scheme of unit fines was introduced by the previous administration in the Criminal Justice Act 1991, but the public did not have confidence in the system and it was abolished by the Criminal Justice Act 1993.
When imposing a fine on an offender, the courts are required to take into account the circumstances of the offence and the offender. This includes the financial means of the offender, so far as it is known. This should ensure that the fine will be set at a level which is commensurate with the seriousness of the offence, but which the offender can afford to pay.