Belfast Telegraph

Bradley has 'no time frame' for compensating historical abuse victims say Sinn Fein

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry concluded there should be compensation ranging from £7,500 to £100,000.
The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry concluded there should be compensation ranging from £7,500 to £100,000.

Sinn Fein's Elisha McCallion has claimed that she has been told by Secretary of State Karen Bradley that she has "no time frame" for compensating victims of historical institutional abuse.

Foyle MP Mrs McCallion said that Mrs Bradley made the admission to her during a meeting on Tuesday.

Mrs McCallion said that the Secretary of State had "once again" raised the hopes of victims only to have them dashed.

She accused Mrs Bradley of "continued stalling" and said that the delays were "cruel and unnecessary".

Lat weekend interim victims' advocate Brendan McAllister said that survivors would probably have to wait until at least the autumn before legislation to compensate them is brought before Parliament.

Mrs Bradley previously came under pressure from victims to resign after suggesting the compensation issue should become part of the talks aimed at restoring power-sharing at Stormont.

Sinn Fein's Mrs McCallion said that she urged Mrs Bradley to "stop dragging her feet" at their meeting.

"I said there is an urgent responsibility on the British government to act now to legislate in the interests of victims and survivors, including redress," the Foyle MP said.

“However Karen Bradley said she has no time frame at present to implement the regulations to meet the needs of victims.

"There are literally victims dying without the redress they are entitled to.

Secretary of State Karen Bradley
Secretary of State Karen Bradley

”The British government needs to act and act now so that the needs of victims are urgently addressed. There should be no more stalling.”

In January 2017 an inquiry led by Sir Anthony Hart found widespread and systemic abuse in children's homes across Northern Ireland and made a number of recommendations, including compensation for victims.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry studied allegations of abuse in 22 homes and other residential institutions between 1922 and 1995.

Sir Anthony died last Tuesday, aged 73, after suffering a heart attack.

A Government spokesperson said:  “The Secretary of State explained to Ms McCallion that the Government set out a time frame in the House of Lords on Monday night.

"The UK Government committed to legislating by the end of the year in the absence of an Assembly at Stormont. The Secretary of State agreed with Ms McCallion that she wants to see this happen as soon as is possible but first, she must consider the redrafted legislation. The Secretary of State is waiting to receive this from the Executive Office and will then review urgently.”

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