PAC chairman describes proposals to overhaul fines system as 'cheeky'

PAC chairman describes proposals to overhaul fines system as 'cheeky'
Sean Fleming.

The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has described the proposals by the Courts Service to overhaul the fines system as cheeky.

The service no longer wants to have responsibility for collecting fines.

There has been an increase in the number of people not paying for fines and not turning up for court.

One of its suggestions is for fines for unpaid TV licence fees to be added on to a person's property tax bill.

PAC chairman Sean Fleming said the courts should have flagged the problem sooner.

Mr Fleming said: "They've a bit of a neck saying you should be doing the job we're doing. If they're required extra staff to do this, or a change or tweaking of the legislation, they should have said that a year, two or three years ago.

"It shouldn't take the Public Accounts to uncover all this, which we have done, and now they're coming forward with all these suggestions."

The Courts Service also believe that motorists who fail to pay a speeding or parking fine should not be able to tax or sell their vehicle.

The Courts Service also believes parking fines should be abolished in favour of clamping.

AA Ireland's Conor Faughnan thinks the suggestion makes sense: "I think the challenge would be to get the administration right.

"We have significant problems with the quality of courts administration at the moment attaching the correct penalty points to the correct licences for example, but if they could get the administration right, it certainly is a simpler way of doing it and in effect becomes self policing."

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