DUP MP for Upper Bann Carla Lockhart has called on Finance Minister Conor Murphy MLA to outline what actions he is taking to source the funding necessary for the long-delayed pension for innocent victims
Mrs Lockhart made the call following a Court of Appeal ruling that said the NI Executive has a legal duty to fund the pension.
Carla Lockhart said:
“For far too long victims have been left on the sidelines while Sinn Fein has sought to stall and pass responsibility on establishing the pension. This only adds to the hurt of victims and is unacceptable. It speaks volumes about Sinn Fein that the courts have had to force them to deliver for victims.
We now have more legal clarity from the Court of Appeal. The onus is on the Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, to find the money for the pension. A short window has been given to him. I trust he will recognise the urgency and priority this scheme demands.
The Finance Minister must engage constructively with Treasury and deliver for victims. There is a strong argument for the Government to supplement Northern Ireland’s budget considering the pension is UK wide and the backdating elements will have significant upfront costs but is the Finance Minister making these arguments?
This Scheme has been delayed for too long already. Whilst Sinn Fein prefer to glorify the victim makers in society, as Finance Minister, Conor Murphy must now deliver and meet his legal obligations.”