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‘It’s about hardship’: Finance Minister defends discount on fines for welfare recipients

NSW welfare recipients will be able to apply to have their fines slashed in half under a new state government plan.

From July 1, anyone who receives Centrelink payments and has been given a traffic, speeding or parking fine will be able to apply for a discount.

This also includes police-issued infringements for offences such as stealing, offensive behaviour, and intoxicated and disorderly conduct.

It will not apply to court-issued fines, voting-related fines, jury duty fines and fines issued to body corporates.

Revenue NSW will first assess whether a payment plan is a viable option, or whether the fine can be reduced in exchange for unpaid work or participation in courses or treatment programs.

Mark Latham told Ben Fordham the initiative came out of nowhere.

“I think it’s a very silly policy to be rewarding people who’ve done the wrong thing.

“There’s a hundred things out there that people have been talking about in response to the economic recession we now face, reducing fines for welfare recipients has never been one of them.

“It’s also, I think, a very strange use of state government responsibilities.”

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But Finance Minister Damien Tudehope has defended the move.

“It is about hardship and I don’t think that there is any suggestion that we are going soft on crime.”

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Image: Getty