The Ely Centre cautiously welcome the introduction of Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme
“It is our strong hope that the intention of this legislation will be faithfully implemented by parliament and these underlying principles are adhered to throughout this process.” Mr Jim Dixon Chairperson, The Ely Centre.
The Ely Centre, like many organisations are acutely aware and acknowledge that putting a monetary value on victims suffering as a result of the troubles is a very difficult, fraught and uncomfortable task. A complex task which at its essence ensures that victims’ expectations are managed respectfully and sensitively throughout.
We fully accept that for many victims and survivors no amount of financial recompense will ever fully address or acknowledge the injury that they are living with. However difficult, we are committed to ensuring that those injured as a result of the Troubles, deserve acknowledgement and we cautiously welcome the introduction of the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme and commend HM Government and the SOSNI for their efforts in seeking to address this legacy issue. However we are disheartened to learn that the bereaved of the troubles have not been included within this scheme.
To ensure this scheme is fair, transparent and victims centred a paramount principle we welcome that those engaged in illegally perpetuating the Troubles be excluded from this scheme, for those engaged in terrorist activity to benefit from such a scheme would greatly hinder the prospect for reconciliation and has the potential to retraumatise innocent victims and survivors and their families. We welcome this underlining principle that perpetrators should not be rewarded in any way from this scheme.
Speaking on the Introduction of the Scheme, Mr Dixon, and Ely Chairperson stated “We will monitor this legislation and implementation closely to ensure fairness and impartiality and that victims are placed front and centre where they deserve to be. It is our strong hope that the intention of this legislation will be faithfully implemented by parliament and these underlying principles are adhered to throughout this process”
The Ely Centre further welcome the proposal surrounding the introduction of a Victims Payment Board and have already requested that victims and survivors and /or their representatives are present upon it. Furthermore, whilst arguing for greater geographical scope and extended timeframes within our own consultation response, we are pleased these areas have been expanded to ensure that victims of the trans generational impact of trauma and those serving in HM Forces and injured in Western Europe & beyond have the option to seek support through this scheme.
Over the coming weeks the Ely Centre will be formally meeting with The Executive Office and our local political representatives to discuss a number of issues raised within the legislation requiring further clarification. One such issue that remains is in relation to Non UK terrorist related conviction which had a direct impact upon the troubles and how / if these will be considered in relation to potential claimants.
We are planning to host a number of information in the Fermanagh and Armagh area to ensure that pre-launch of the scheme in May 2020 Victims are provided with as much as advice and made aware of local avenues of assistance to assist the application process.
To download a copy of the Ely Centre Consultation response please click on the link below