MP and MLAs back News Letter campaign to get Victims’ Payment Scheme up and running
Three senior politicians are backing the News Letter campaign to deliver pensions for innocent victims of terrorism.
Ian Paisley MP and MLAs Doug Beattie and Jim Allister were speaking out against the blocking of the introduction of the Victims’ Payment Scheme.
All three have campaigned on behalf of innocent victims and oppose pensions for terrorists injured ‘at their own hand’.
Mr Paisley said: “I think it’s an abomination that here we have a scheme that has been passed by Parliament, in law. It’s got by now to be administered. And we have politicians fighting over something that is already a done deal.
“How low is that? They need to hold a mirror up to themselves and really look into their hearts and recognise that they have a dual responsibility to administer this piece of legislation and get these payments to the most vulnerable victims that some of them, and some of their organisations, played a part in making victims. The sooner they get on with that, the better.”
Mr Beattie said: “This is absolutely reprehensible. It’s 40 days since The Executive Office was outed as having done nothing to progress the Victims’ Payment Scheme and its now 30 days since victims should have been able to avail of this scheme, as yet they have not.
“These victims are dying before our eyes having fought for years to get this Victims’ Payments Scheme put in place.
“It’s an abject failure of our Executive Office and it is a moral failure of the Northern Ireland Office.
“I would call on Brandon Lewis to return this scheme to the Northern Ireland Office, administer it from London and give those who deserve a pension, a pension. If he has to recoup money, then recoup it from the Block Grant, but what we have to do now is give the pension.’
Mr Allister said: “If you create a situation where you can only have a government if, at the heart and the head of that government, you have the party of the IRA who made the victims in Northern Ireland, then don’t be surprised that the people who, above all, get a raw deal are the innocent victims of the IRA.
“… Sinn Fein are saying that those who planted bombs, who were victim makers, should be treated equally with those they made victims. No self-respecting person, nobody with the least moral compass, could ever agree to that.
“Yet, that is what they are trying to hold the innocent victims to ransom for, to deliver that obscenity.”