Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (528)

Jonathan O'Brien


539 Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the date on which the Fines Act with the necessary ICT systems in place will commence. [34830/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

Substantial parts of the Fines Act 2010 are already commenced including the indexation of fines and the requirement that the courts take into account a person's financial circumstances when imposing a fine. The provisions that remain to be commenced relate mainly to the collection of fines.

I am currently preparing amendments to the Fines Act 2010 to give effect to the commitment in the Programme for Government to introduce attachment of earnings to improve the collection of fines and reduce the number of persons committed to prison for the non-payment of fines. The introduction of attachment of earnings requires that the architecture of the Fines Act is reviewed to ensure that all the various elements work together harmoniously. Work on this review is well advanced, and any necessary amendments to the 2010 Act will be dealt with, along with the introduction of attachment of earnings, in a Fines (Amendment) Bill that I hope to have enacted during 2013.