Friday, July 07, 2006

7th July Compensation 'hypocrisy'

A LONDON TUBE driver awarded the MBE for his selfless efforts in helping victims of the 7th July bombings at two stations has slammed the “hypocrisy” of ministers seeking to axe compensation to workers injured at work through criminal actions.

John Boyle, a member of the RMT transport union, who was off-duty when he rushed to aid the injured at both Aldgate and Aldgate East stations, received £1,000 in compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) for the serious effects of the trauma he suffered.

But the Home Office has proposed not only that CICA’s minimum tariffs be removed, but that workers injured through criminal actions at work should not qualify for CICA compensation at all.

“The Government’s proposals are just terrible,” says John Boyle. “I was off-duty when the bombs went off, so under these proposals I might still have had a claim, but my workmates and all the emergency services people who did so much wouldn’t qualify at all just because they were on duty.

“How can they say that people injured in the course of duty are different to those injured off-duty, or on their way to work?

“We were all victims that day, and it is appalling that they are trying to find money to pay to people more seriously injured by taking it away from others.

“To call people heroes and then to try to bar them from claiming compensation looks like hypocrisy to me,” John Boyle says.

“Penalising victims of criminal acts is plain wrong and the Government really should just drop these proposals,” said RMT general secretary Bob Crow in Dublin as delegates gathered for the union’s annual general meeting.

“Thompsons, our lawyers, have already made a number of CICA applications on behalf of our members, but people who were affected should get in touch with the union and get a claim in as soon as possible,” Bob Crow said.