Northern Ireland: Victims’ Payment Scheme - Private Notice Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:00 pm on 20th January 2021.

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Photo of Lord Kilclooney Lord Kilclooney Crossbench 1:00 pm, 20th January 2021

My Lords, first, I must declare an interest, having been a victim of an assassination attempt in Northern Ireland. I will not be seeking any benefit from this scheme.

People have been waiting far too long to benefit from this scheme. Many lost limbs or their eyesight, and they are getting older. Time is running out, and this should be a matter of urgency for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and for the Northern Ireland Executive. It seems to me that the Minister of Finance in Northern Ireland is delaying action because he wants those who were terrorists and were victims in the campaign in Northern Ireland also to benefit. It is a political gesture by the Minister of Finance. That must not be the way to make progress. When the Secretary of State says, “Stop this nonsense”, he is really saying that it is a matter for the block grant and the Stormont Executive. Will the block grant be increased accordingly because of this scheme? Alternatively, can the Secretary of State take control of this scheme and issue the benefits from Westminster, which originally passed the legislation?