COMMENT: Let’s reclaim fines as a dreaded punishment
WARWICK residents currently owe close to $3million in SPER debt and across the state that figure is close to $1billion.
Those figures are really quite astounding and highlight a huge crack in the system.
This is a system that, although built on good intentions, is easily abused and has taken away the penalty aspect of being fined.
Often those with outstanding fines have little to no concern about another one being added to their debt, knowing they can pay it off in minimal increments over a long period of time.
Sittings at the Warwick courthouse will show the disregard offenders often have for being fined and its ineffectiveness as a penalty.
There is no fear or dread of being hit with a hefty fine when you can pay of at $20/fortnight.
We need to reclaim fines as a punishment.
While it is desirable to have a system that allows help for those who are struggling to pay their debts, it is clearly far too lenient and open to abuse.
We need to tighten the timeframes and push for fines to be paid back sooner.
A fine is undoubtedly far more troublesome and effective when the offender is forced to pay it back quickly.
A lesson is more likely to be learned when large amounts of money from their bank account each week.
Making repayments too minimal hurts everyone.
Offenders are neither punished nor deterred and the state is denied money it could be using to fix roads, build bridges and treat the sick.