Welfare recipients will have fines for speeding, stealing and parking cut in HALF in extraordinary bid to ease the financial burden amid pandemic
- Centrelink recipients in NSW will be able to apply to have some fines slashed
- Fines that will be halved include traffic offences, theft, and offensive behaviour
- The discounts also apply to people on Jobseeker and JobKeeper payments
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Everyday fines will be halved for people on welfare benefits in a new state government plan designed to ease the financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.
People on Centrelink payments in New South Wales will be able to apply to have fines collected by Revenue NSW reduced by 50 per cent after July 1.
The permanent scheme, announced by the Berejiklian government on Sunday, also applies to those on Jobseeker and JobKeeper payments designed to help businesses that lost revenue during the coronavirus downturn keep their staff.
Discounts will cover traffic, speeding and parking fines as well as some police-issued fines, including stealing, offensive behaviour, and intoxicated and disorderly conduct.
The NSW Government will allow people on welfare to have their fines slashed from July 1. Pictured: People are seen lining up at Centrelink in Sydney after businesses were forced to close
State speeding tickets range from $121 to $2,482, fines for driving an unregistered car start at $686 and general traffic offences, such as ignoring a give way sign, start at $344.
But penalties issued by a court or jury duty and voting-related fines and fines issued to a body corporate will be exempt from the changes.
‘These reforms will strike the right balance, ensuring we hold people to account for breaking the rules and endangering our roads, but without placing undue burdens on disadvantaged members of our community,’ Attorney-General Mark Speakman said.
The scheme was created as the NSW government braces for an unemployment rate of up to eight per cent. Pictured: newly unemployed people lining up at Centrelink in Sydney in March
The scheme was created as the NSW government braces for an unemployment rate of up to eight per cent by the time the federal government’s JobKeeper program is scaled back in September, having peaked at 6.4 per cent in May.
Under the scheme, customers suffering financial hardship will be able to apply for a fine reduction as long as it is not overdue.
It will not be automatically granted, with Revenue NSW to first negotiate a possible payment plan or work and development order, which allows for penalties to be reduced in exchange for unpaid work or the completion of courses or treatment.
The discounts cover speeding tickets (issues by police and speed cameras, like the one pictured), traffic offences, theft and offensive behaviour
The Commissioner of Fines Administration has also reserved the right to exclude fines for serious offences.
As well, any licence cancellations or suspensions and demerit points will apply regardless of whether the fine is reduced.
‘In making the system fairer, we have maintained the deterrent factor by ensuring all other penalties still apply, so if you were speeding, you will still receive the full demerit points,’ Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.