Alex Easton MLA has today claimed that it is a massive and welcome step forward for the innocent victims of our Troubles.
Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said:
It is particularly welcome that this pension will only be for those who were injured through no fault of their own. It was immoral that the 2006 Order categorised innocent victims alongside the perpetrators of acts of terror. The level of payment through the scheme will depend on the severity of a victim’s injuries
A judge-led board will decide who will qualify for a new government payment scheme for people who were injured during the Troubles.
The Secretary of State signed regulations into law that will see the most severely injured survivors receiving payments ranging from about £2,000 to £10,000.
The pension-like payments will be paid to victims every year for the rest of their lives.
“The Troubles had a devastating impact on many and the time has come to implement a victims’ payments scheme to deliver for those who need it most and for those injured through no fault of their own,”
Troubles victims will be eligible to apply for a pension if they were injured in an incident at any point between 1 January 1966 and 12 April 2010, the date that responsibility for policing and justice was devolved to Stormont.
The scheme will also be open to those injured in incidents that took place outside Northern Ireland.
The pensions will be backdated to 2014 – the date when they were first agreed in principle by the Stormont parties under the Fresh Start Agreement.
Older victims over the age of 60 may opt to receive a lump sum rather than annual payments.
There will also be provisions to extend payments to those who care for Troubles victims for more than 35 hours a week.
In the event of a Troubles victim’s death, there will be provisions to make a payment to their loved ones
This pension will be awarded to people of all faiths and none but it will not be awarded to victim makers. That will be welcomed by many across all communities.”