Troubles victims could receive £10,000 annual pension

Victims of ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland in the second half of the 20th century could be in line for a pension of £10,000 per year.

The UK government has launched a consultation proposing a pension for “severely physically injured” victims that are living with permanent disablement “through no fault of their own”.

Framed as a ‘victim’s pension’, it has been proposed as part of The Stormont House Agreement, which also contained planned legislation on abortion and same-sex marriage.

Smaller pensions have been proposed for those with less severe disabilities.

The first band of victims with the most severe injuries, an assessed level of disablement of 100 per cent, would be in line for £9,870 per year, the middle band (50 per cent) would receive £4,935 and the lowest band (20 per cent) would receive £1,974.

The consultation noted the purposes of the ‘victim’s pension’ as “acknowledgement of the acute harm which they have suffered, recognition of the implications of living with disablement caused by a severe Troubles-related injury and the associated impact of such disablement on carers, who are often family members, and recognition that in many cases coping with the disablement caused by the serious injury had an adverse financial impact on individuals, and their families”.

It would sit alongside, rather than replace, any existing pensions or support the people affected are already receiving.

The consultation concluded: “The Stormont House Agreement provided for further work to be undertaken in establishing a ‘pension’ scheme for those most seriously injured in The Troubles.

“Too much time has already passed since then. It is imperative that progress is made now on delivering this scheme, to support those seriously injured in The Troubles and provide a measure of additional financial support to them.”

Regulations to enable contributions must be finalised by the end of January 2020 and, if agreed, the scheme will be open to applications from the end of May.

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