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NIO dodging responsibilities on victims’ payment scheme, says Farry

Alliance MP Stephen Farry has accused the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and UK Government of failing to act responsibly on the victims’ payment scheme.

It comes after Secretary of State Brandon Lewis suggested money set aside for legacy in the New Decade, New Approach deal could be used to fund pension payments for Troubles’ victims.

“This scheme is long overdue and it is absolutely right victims of the Troubles receive the financial compensation they deserve as recognition of the injuries they’ve had to live with over many years,” said Dr Farry.

“However, given the scheme created by Westminster went well beyond what was previously agreed by local parties and both the UK and Irish governments at Stormont House, as well as what was proposed by the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors, the NIO need to provide an appropriate level of funding.

“Whilst all parties remain absolutely committed to funding and delivering the scheme, it is grotesque the NIO are effectively capping their contribution to £100 million over four years, when the scheme is estimated to cost £1.2 billion over its lifetime. That is not a financial commitment the public purse in Northern Ireland can sustain and the NIO has an obligation to revisit this decision.”