MP Simon Hoare says immediate payments to Troubles victims is a ‘moral imperative’

Making immediate compensation payments to victims of Northern Ireland’s troubled past is a “moral imperative”, a senior MP has said.

Simon Hoare, chair of the NI Affairs Committee
Simon Hoare, chair of the NI Affairs Committee

The payments have been delayed amid a stand-off between Belfast and London over who pays the estimated £100 million cost.

Simon Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, has urged the two administrations to work together to ensure compensation payments to victims and survivors can begin immediately.

The Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme had been due to open on May 29 but no pension payments have yet been made.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill have said London should shoulder the cost.

But NI Secretary Brandon Lewis has insisted Stormont should foot the bill.

Mr Hoare has written to Mr Lewis urging that a resolution be found.

He described the situation as “deeply regrettable”, adding that victims “should not be made to endure further delay”.

In the letter, which Mrs Foster and Ms O’Neill as well as the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak were copied into, Mr Hoare said many have “waited too long for compensation”.

“There is a moral imperative for making these payments now,” he wrote.

“Victims and their families have waited too long for compensation, and many of them are elderly or in ill health.

“They have campaigned for many years to receive the recognition and redress due to them, and they believed that the matter had been settled.

“It is unacceptable that they should be made to endure further delay.”