To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultations they (1) have undertaken, and (2) plan to undertake, in regard to the Victims Payments Scheme in Northern Ireland with (a) political parties that are not represented in the Northern Ireland Executive, and (b) civil society representatives in Northern Ireland.
The Government ran a public consultation in October and November last year on our proposals for legislating for a Victims Payments Scheme. The consultation provided an opportunity for anyone to comment on the shape of the proposed scheme.
In line with the Northern Ireland Office Equality Scheme, we notified our list of consultees - including a wide range of public bodies, political parties, religious and representative organisations - about the consultation. The consultation team also made itself available to meet a range of interested groups and parties to discuss the proposals and the issues arising from them.
We received 367 responses from a variety of parties, individuals, representatives and groups, including the Green Party NI. We carefully considered all written and oral feedback received in making final decisions about the shape of the scheme.
The Northern Ireland Office also engaged with the main parties on the detail of draft guidance that will support the scheme’s independent board in making decisions to award payments.