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Blood: Contamination

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the payment of compensation to people in Northern Ireland affected by the contaminated blood scandal before the conclusion of the Infected Blood Inquiry.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The Government believes that we should wait until the Inquiry reports before considering compensation. The Inquiry cannot make a finding of legal liability, but it could make a recommendation that the Government fundamentally increases what it pays to the infected and affected, and that it does so on a different basis. Government will act on the Inquiry's recommendations with the utmost urgency, when it reports.

In the meantime, we are working with our partners in the devolved nations, including Northern Ireland, and other relevant Government departments to improve the parity of financial support for those infected by the infected blood scandal, across the United Kingdom.

The Department of Health NI was allocated £1.03 million in January 2020 monitoring, ringfenced for the specific purpose of providing financial support to the infected and affected.

Of this £610,780 was committed in the interim payments announced on 27 January and has been paid out. Therefore £419,220 remains, which the NI Health Minister committed to allocating before the end of this financial year.

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