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Additional punishment for fine avoiders

Tom Whitehead (Telegraph) reports today that “charges of at least £15 a time will be added to outstanding court fines for any offender who fails to pay up on time. ”

Fines are usually imposed for a wide variety of minor offences and quite often are imposed on people who are in a position whereby they are not the most well paid members of society.

Often people who are ordered to pay fines are in receipt of state benefits and the rate of payment is ordered at £5.00 per week from their benefits. If the benefit is stopped then the automatic deduction stops and the full amount becomes due, ultimately the taxpayer is subsidising the benefits which then go to pay the fine.

People with transient lifestyles moving between addresses have issues such as where they are going to spend the next night or get the next meal from to consider rather than the fine which is outstanding.

There has always been a common story about the prostitute who receives a fine then going back out on the street to get the money to pay that fine so commits further offences.