Victims’ Payment Scheme Is Welcomed By Ministers

The First Minister and deputy First Minister have welcomed the confirmation of an opening date for the Victims’ Payments Scheme.

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The First Minister and deputy First Minister have welcomed the confirmation of an opening date for the Victims’ Payments Scheme.

The Ministers were speaking following the announcement by the President of the Victims’ Payments Board, Mr Justice McAlinden, of his intention to open the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payments Scheme for applications from 30 June 2021.

The First Minister Arlene Foster said: “It is encouraging that a date has now been set for the opening of the scheme. This is something that has been long-awaited by victims and survivors and all of us who support them.

“There is undoubtedly hard work ahead but we take heart from the progress made with both administrative arrangements and engagement as highlighted by Mr Justice McAlinden, President of the Victims’ Payments Board.

 “We urge the Board to move with the greatest possible speed to provide both the recognition and payments that are rightfully owed.”

The deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “I welcome the confirmation of an opening date for the scheme, which is a significant step forward for victims and survivors.

“There are countless people across our society who continue to live with the lasting impacts of the conflict. It is important that their pain and suffering is acknowledged; and that they receive the payments to which they are entitled.

“I hope today’s announcement will bring some comfort to those who are eligible for this support and I very much hope we see payments being made as quickly as possible when the scheme becomes operational.”

The Ministers reemphasised that payments will be made to successful applicants as soon as they fall due and restated their firm commitment to progressing financial discussions with the Westminster Government regarding their funding responsibilities for the scheme.