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DUP Leader and First Minister Arlene Foster has said “the final hurdle has been crossed” and a payment scheme for innocent victims who were severely and permanently injured during the Troubles will now be put in place.

Mrs Foster said,

“This is a very welcome day for all those victims and survivors across Northern Ireland who will benefit from this pension for severely injured victims.

It has been a deeply frustrating journey towards this point, but I welcome that we have finally achieved agreement to confirm that the pension will be paid when it falls due to recipients.

We have achieved a clear commitment from the Department of Finance to ensure the funds will be paid when it is needed. This commitment took too long, the delay caused distress and uncertainty, I welcome that today certainty has been given.

The uncertainty for victims is now over. We will ensure that they receive the payment which they are rightly entitled to and we will continue to press the Government to also make a contribution.”