Abuse victims face another delay in redress legislation
DRAFT legislation aimed at setting up a redress scheme for victims of institutional abuse will not be completed until the end of this month.
The legislation is being redrafted after the main parties wrote a joint letter to the secretary of state last week proposing changes to the scheme.
Victims groups had hoped that the draft legislation could be drawn up within days.
But a spokeswoman for Stormont’s Executive Office said yesterday that the work would not be completed until the end of this month.
- Abuse campaigner fears redress legislation could take more than a year
She said the letter, signed by the leaders of Sinn Féin, the SDLP, DUP, Ulster Unionists, Alliance and Greens, requested “significant changes to the draft legislation, which are reflective of the concerns raised by victims and survivors during the consultation period”.
“Officials are progressing this work as quickly as possible on the presumption that the secretary of state will agree to the revised proposals reached by the political parties,” the spokeswoman said.
“The significant reworking of the draft legislation work will be completed by the end of June.”
Karen Bradley had insisted that she is committed to giving payments to victims and survivors but asked the Stormont parties to address fundamental questions about the redress scheme.
Northern Ireland’s main parties wrote to Mrs Bradley last week to give their answers to her questions. They also urged her to pass compensation legislation through Westminster as quickly as possible.
Campaigner Margaret McGuckin from Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia) said she was disappointed that the legislation could be delayed further.
“What’s keeping them from doing it right now?” she said.
“All they have to do is change a few things around. I don’t know what is stalling it. Why are they so slow?”
The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry recommended compensation payments to victims more than two years ago.
The inquiry also made other recommendations including bespoke care packages for victims and a memorial to be built in the grounds of Stormont.