DUP East Antrim MLA and Junior Minister in the First Minister’s Office Gordon Lyons has called on Her Majesty’s Government to step up and fund the pension for innocent victims.
Mr Lyons said,
“A pension for the innocent people who were injured in the Troubles should have been implemented long before now. The DUP has been building support, alongside victims, for this recognition of suffering, over the last decade.
Due to Sinn Fein collapsing devolution for three years, this matter was not progressed in the way it should but we were able to use our influence in Westminster to convince the Government of that time to proceed with it. Having put the legislative basis for this pension in place and ensured that terrorists would not have access to it, the Government must now step forward and fund this very worthy scheme.
This pension will be accessible to people throughout the United Kingdom therefore it is very odd for the Government to stand back and expect the Northern Ireland Executive to foot the bill.
Whilst the mechanisms for paying this pension are still being put in place, it is time for the Government to remove the uncertainty about funding and make the proper commitment that victims deserve.
I am however, glad that there is a legal basis for now proceeding and making this pension a reality regardless of where it is funded from.”