Abuse compensation bill expected to be passed before Westminster dissolution

Jon McCourt.
Jon McCourt.

Westminster is expected to pass legislation to allow compensation to be paid to institutional abuse survivors before dissolution.

Victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse have been waiting for the payments since they were recommended following a major inquiry in 2017.

However, the compensation scheme was never enacted following the collapse of devolved government in Northern Ireland and absence of ministers.

Now the abuse survivors say they have been assured that enabling legislation will be passed by the House of Commons on Tuesday before Parliament is dissolved for the General Election.

Jon McCourt, chairman of Survivors North West, said: “We are being told that the Bill should pass all its stages in the Commons on Tuesday. This is welcome news.

“That means it can become law and that victims can finally start to see the redress to which they are entitled.”

Earlier, the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland ruled that the Executive Office has the power to introduce the compensation scheme in the absence of ministers.

It follows a case brought by a survivor of historical abuse, referred to in court as JR80.

Appeal court judges found that what children suffered in state and church-run homes between 1922 and 1995 amounted to torture.