| 12.7°C Belfast

Proposed more than five years ago... how Troubles pensions furore has played out since then

Close

An emotional day for Jennifer McNern whose High Court action, on behalf of terrorists' victims like herself, over the non-implementation of pensions for Troubles victims led to the rulling that forced the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill into action

An emotional day for Jennifer McNern whose High Court action, on behalf of terrorists' victims like herself, over the non-implementation of pensions for Troubles victims led to the rulling that forced the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill into action

Photopress Belfast

An emotional day for Jennifer McNern whose High Court action, on behalf of terrorists' victims like herself, over the non-implementation of pensions for Troubles victims led to the rulling that forced the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill into action

December 2014: The Stormont House Agreement proposes a pension for those who were "severely physically injured" in Northern Ireland as part of an agreement to deal with legacy issues.

July 9 2019: MPs vote to legislate for a Troubles pension, along with abortion and same-sex marriage, if there is no devolution by October 21 2019. The deadline passes without agreement.

October 22 2019: NIO publishes a consultation with proposed payment levels for victims injured "through no fault of their own".

January 31 2020: Legislation for the pension scheme was approved by MPs in Westminster in the absence of an Executive and was passed into law in January but Stormont was to oversee it.

May 20: It emerged that the scheme would not be opening as scheduled on May 29, as the structures to administer it were not set up.

May 21: First Minister Arlene Foster said the scheme was unaffordable without extra Treasury funding but Secretary of State Brandon Lewis insisted the estimated £100m cost rests with Stormont.

May 22: Following the failure to have the scheme set up by May 29, victims of the Troubles revealed they were considering legal action over the delivery of the pension.

June 10: Sinn Fein were blamed for blocking the publication of eligibility guidelines for the pension scheme.

The party said they discriminated against former prisoners and go beyond what is in the legislation.

July 29: It emerges that the Victims' Commissioner, Judith Thompson, will not be reappointed. Some victims' groups welcome the development.

August 14: Mr Lewis released guidance over how an independent board should release the payments. The guidelines state that those who have a serious conviction for causing harm to others, or have a recent terrorism offence, would not benefit.

August 17: A legal challenge to the delay to implementing the Troubles pension opens.

A judge indicates that Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill is ignoring the rule of law by blocking progress on the pension scheme.

Yesterday: Mr Justice McAlinden rules the Executive Office is acting unlawfully in delaying the introduction of the compensation scheme.

Belfast Telegraph