Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (204)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

204. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons who have failed to pay fines imposed by the courts since the commencement of the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014; the number of persons who have had an attachment order, a recovery order or community service order made against them as a result; the number of persons imprisoned for failure to pay such fines; the equivalent figures for the three year period before the introduction of the Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11958/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, which include the provision of information on the courts system.

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has provided the following information.

The Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014 was enacted on 16 April 2014 and commenced on 11 January 2016.

The available information as requested by the Deputy is set out as follows.

Report on the number of persons where fines were imposed by the Courts since the commencement of the Fines (Payment and Recovery Act 2014) from 11 January 2016 to date.

No of Persons where fines were imposed

154,324

Report on the number of persons that failed to pay fines imposed by the Courts since the commencement of the Fines (Payment and Recovery Act 2014) for the period from from 11 January 2016 to date.

No of Persons that failed to pay fines imposed by the Courts

84,925

Report on number of persons that have had an attachment order, a recovery order, community service or imprisonment order imposed from 11 January 2016 to 8 March 2019

Order

No. of Persons

Imprisonment

170

Attachment of Earnings Order

18

Recovery Orders

10

Community Service Orders

436

Fines imposed between 01 Jan 2013 – 10 Jan 2016

- There is no comparative report on the fines due for the period 01 Jan 2013 to 10 January 2016, due to the fact that prior to the introduction of the 2014 Fines Act, Court orders imposing  the payment of a fine included a default period of imprisonment if the fine was not paid.  

No. of persons fined

No. of Persons who failed to pay fines from 1st Jan 2013 to 10th Jan 2016

158,583

20,104

The Irish Prison Service has provided the following information:

Fine defaulters committed to prison

Year - Fine defaulters

2013 - 7,365 persons 

2014 - 8,154 persons  

2015 - 8,874 persons

2016 - 7,561 persons

(from 11th January 2016)

2017 - 2,179 persons 

2018 - 449 persons

It can be noted that an individual can be committed more than once in a calendar year.  It is likely that the majority of persons committed in 2016 and 2017 will have been sentenced prior to the commencement of the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014.