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Scottish model offers route to justice for Northern Ireland victims and survivors of historical abuse, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said developments in Scotland may offer a way for fast compensation for elderly or infirm victims of Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland, and called on the Secretary of State to act.

The Scottish Government will fast track payments to victims and survivors of care homes there in April. Up to £10 million in compensation packages will be paid, initially to people whose age or health means they might not live to see a wider planned compensation scheme rolled out.

"We have heard from the Secretary of State she is considering 'further actions' on the issue of historical institutional abuse, but we still see scant evidence of this occurring. Meanwhile, victims and survivors are still waiting over two years since the Hart Inquiry concluded, with the real risk justice will come too late.

"We now see in Scotland a clear model of legislation being brought forward but also, vitally, payment to elderly and infirm victims being prioritised and made swiftly even prior to the conclusion of the legislative process. Given the Hart Inquiry recommendations are accepted in Northern Ireland, there is no reason this same process should not be paralleled here.

"The victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse have been victims for long enough. They must not be victims for any longer of political failure as well. We now have a clear route forward in another part of the UK, and there is no reason it should not be matched here in Northern Ireland. All that is required is the agreement of the Secretary of State."