Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has said those injured during the conflict should not have to wait for a victims’ pension because of British government dithering over providing the necessary funding.
Speaking after meeting with British Secretary of State Brandon Lewis yesterday, Conor Murphy said:
“All victims of the conflict who suffered permanent physical or psychological injury as a result of the conflict are entitled to a victims’ pension.
“Victims have already waited too long for the Victims Payment Scheme and the important recognition of their hurt and suffering that comes with it.
“They should not have to face any further delay because of British government dithering and delays over funding and it is disappointing that it has taken more than four months for Brandon Lewis to meet today with Executive ministers.
“I made that point very clear to Brandon Lewis and urged him to act immediately to provide the funding so that victims can get the help they deserve.
“The Victims Payment Scheme was designed at Westminster and policy decisions were taken there. Funding for it also needs to come from there.
“The Executive’s budgets are already stretched and the pension could amount to costs of up to £1.2 billion.
“Therefore it is disappointing that Mr Lewis continues to claim that the pension will cost £28m in the first year when he knows that the Government Actuary’s Department has estimated the cost at between £70m and £145m in the first year.
“It is time the British government acted to pay for the scheme it created so that victims should not have to face any further delays.”