Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson is urging the Health Minister to expedite a permanent uplift in payments for victims of the Contaminated Blood Scandal here.
One-off payments were released in March but the Foyle MLA has now written to Robin Swann urging him to put permanent arrangements in place.
Martina Anderson said: “While those payments were welcome, it is still a far cry from what is necessary to sustainably address the needs of the victims of this scandal.
“A permanent uplift is not only what is expected by victims, it is what they deserve.
“I have been assured by the Department of Finance that the money allocated to the Health Department in order to make the initial payments will be a recurring allocation.
“Therefore, I see no reason why the Health Minister cannot expedite a permanent uplift to ensure that local victims receive the same payments as those elsewhere.
“It is clear we must unite behind all the victims of this scandal, including living victims and those who are bereaved. The Health Minister has the resources so he should at the very least, provide clarity as to when a permanent uplift will be put in place.
“He needs to end the delays and the entirely avoidable hurt being caused to victims by ensuring parity in the payments as committed to in the New Decade New Approach agreement.”