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Smith's tribute to the bravery of Troubles victims as scheme's details are confirmed

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Secretary of State Julian Smith

Secretary of State Julian Smith

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Secretary of State Julian Smith

Secretary of State Julian Smith has praised the "bravery and fortitude" of campaigners after confirming legislation on victims' pensions.

He said those who lived through the Troubles have demonstrated "extraordinary courage and bravery".

"One of my priorities has been the creation of a victim-centred scheme that is transparent, balanced and easy to use. The discussions and delay of the past few years have gone on long enough," he said.

"This scheme is intended to provide much-needed acknowledgement, and a measure of additional financial support, to people injured through no fault of their own in a Troubles-related incident, some of whom are struggling to make ends meet."

Mr Smith said the "terrible harm" caused by violence must be recognised, adding: "As a society, we still have work to do to deal with the legacy of that terrible period in our history.

"I know that there remain significant challenges to overcome and different views about how to proceed. We should pause and thank those who have helped us get to a place where we can provide a scheme like this which I hope will make a real difference to people's lives."

Belfast Telegraph