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Time to move ahead with pension for victims and survivors, says Farry

Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MLA has said it is time to deliver the pension for victims and survivors of the Troubles in order to provide some improvement to their quality of life.

Dr Farry was speaking after Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson published her advice to the UK Government on the issue. He said he wanted to see the matter advanced as quickly as possible.

“Alliance welcomes the publication of this advice, having long supported the pension, which was agreed to by the parties to the Stormont House Agreement in 2014. We now want to see it advanced as quickly as possible.

“There are many hundreds of people who have been permanently injured, both physically and psychologically over the decades. These are life-limiting conditions. Some further financial support for them and their carers can provide some improvement to quality of life. Five years after Stormont House, it needs to be delivered and this advice provides the substance.

“The definition of a victim has been a long-running political issue. There are many sincerely held views on the matter. However, this is not going to be resolved soon. Far too many people urgently need assistance. This can’t be constantly held back due to a debate on whether what amounts to fewer than 10 people are considered to be eligible or not. We are not going to get a perfect way forward on this. It just needs to be done.”