David Cameron should NOT compensate riot victims
I don't think the police should pay compensation to riot victims. What do you think?
If you’re a taxpayer and you think you haven’t really been affected by the riots, think again.
David Cameron has announced that anyone who suffered damage to or loss of property during the riots can make a claim for compensation to the police, under the 1886 Riot Damages Act.
It’s estimated the cost of these claims could reach £230m after it was revealed that insurers could recover the cost of payouts from the riots too. Victims have 42 days to make a claim to their local police office using a riot claim form for property damage, theft of contents and damage to contents.
Great news if you were a victim. But if you weren’t, you may be wondering - like me - whether it is right that taxpayers should pay compensation to uninsured victims and insurance companies.
Why should taxpayers bail out insurance companies?
Surely the reason we pay insurance companies our premiums every year is because we expect them to pay out in times of need? Why should taxpayers be expected to bail out insurance companies when their customers have a valid claim?
Is that the best use of our resources when there is such a huge debate raging about public sector cuts?
Why should taxpayers bail out uninsured victims?
Don’t get me wrong, I have every sympathy for what the victims of the riots are going through. I want the police to ensure they get justice and I want the NHS to give them the best possible medical treatment. But I am not sure that on top of that I, as a taxpayer, should be expected to compensate them for financial losses.
After all, there are very good reasons to get home insurance and guess what? Protection from damage to your property is pretty high up that list!
Why should the rest of us pay our insurance premiums every year if you can rely on taxpayers to bail you out if you don’t bother?
The police didn’t protect them
The counter-argument is, of course, that the police are to blame because people have the right to protection from riot damage, and as the police failed in their duty, victims deserve compensation.
How come I didn't have the right to the same protection and compensation from the police as the riot victims? What make rioters and burglars so different?
I appreciate that the damage caused by the riots was on a much bigger scale and has affected thousands of innocent people, but it seems to me that the money we are paying out to victims would better be spent ensuring the police were better-funded - and so could cope and respond better if such crises arise in the future.
What do you think?
Do you agree with me? Or do you think it’s right that the Government is compensating victims like this? Join the debate using the comments box below!