I have made clear the high priority on which I place having the Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme open and receiving applications as soon as possible, so that people can begin to receive the payments to which they are morally and legally entitled as soon as possible.
This is a devolved scheme which the Executive is required to fund from the resources available to it through the block grant and the Executive’s own revenue. However, following engagement with Executive Ministers and to enable them to progress the scheme without further delay, I want to ensure that budget management issues should not stand in the way of progress. I have therefore taken the exceptional approach of offering access to NDNA funds that will help the Executive manage the cost of the Scheme in the early years when the annual costs are expected to be greatest, significantly reducing the costs in any year where costs exceed £60m.
This flexibility means there is nothing now standing in the way of the Executive delivering the scheme as set out in legislation. I will continue to engage with Executive Ministers to see this Scheme delivered.