Foreign criminals in pensions row / News / The Foreigner

Foreign criminals in pensions row. Minister promises to review rules. Criminals from abroad are earning pension points whilst they serve time in Norwegian jails. The political imbroglio has made one minister signal a temporary about-turn, whilst ex-cons are laughing all the way into the bank.Unreasonable The government’s Minister of Labour and former negotiator at last year’s World Climate Summit in Copenhagen, Hanne Bjurstrøm, is in heavy weather after Aftenposten revealed that all foreign prisoners serving time for serious crimes can get a pension when they “retire” at 67.

prisoners, pensions, social, security, national, insurance, health, benefits, norway, norwegian, jails, hannebjurstroem, knut, storberget, bent, hoeie



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Foreign criminals in pensions row

Published on Wednesday, 6th January, 2010 at 14:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Minister promises to review rules.

Hanne Bjurstrøm
Hanne Bjurstrøm
Photo: Scanpix/Prime Minister's Office


Criminals from abroad are earning pension points whilst they serve time in Norwegian jails. The political imbroglio has made one minister signal a temporary about-turn, whilst ex-cons are laughing all the way into the bank.

Unreasonable

The government’s Minister of Labour and former negotiator at last year’s World Climate Summit in Copenhagen, Hanne Bjurstrøm, is in heavy weather after Aftenposten revealed that all foreign prisoners serving time for serious crimes can get a pension when they “retire” at 67.

Current rules mean the state also covers their health expenses for jail terms longer than 12 months; even if they’ve come to Norway illegally.

“It seems completely preposterous to reward criminals by making them members of the National Insurance Scheme. These are convicts scheduled for deportation that we’d rather serve time in their homeland,” Bent Høie, the Conservative Party’s (H) head of Parliament’s Health and Care committee tells the paper.

Three years in jail gives a monthly pension of 455 kroner, and criminals from the EEA also retain their rights to payments, even if they’ve left the country.

"Unfortunate"

The “slip-up” also makes life more difficult for Knut Storberget, Labour’s (Ap) Minister of Justice, who has warned the government will be taking a harder line against both criminals and illegal immigrants.

In today’s Parliamentary Question Time, Storberget was put on the spot by the Opposition’s Kjell Ingolf Ropstad of the Christian Democratic Party (KrF), when he asked what kind of signals he thinks it sends.

“The government aims to get more foreigners to serve time in their home country. It’s extremely injudicious that a lengthier sentence in Norway gives you rights to social security, putting it mildely. It (also) makes the fight against crime more difficult,” he answered.

Review

Bjurstrøm, for her part, has now promised to look at the rules once again; something which could mean they are revised by and Act of Parliament.

“I see that the information published by the media can seem unreasonable, and that it opposes the public’s view of justice,” she writes in a press release.




Published on Wednesday, 6th January, 2010 at 14:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: prisoners, pensions, social, security, national, insurance, health, benefits, norway, norwegian, jails, hannebjurstroem, knut, storberget, bent, hoeie.





  
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