British government guidance on victims' pension scheme discriminatory and unacceptable - Kelly
Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has said the Guidance on Decision Making for a Pension from the British government on a pension for victims of the conflict is discriminatory and unacceptable.
Gerry Kelly said:
"These latest proposals from the British government on a victims' pension are exclusionary, discriminatory and unacceptable.
"There is a need for a scheme which not only acknowledges the hurt and suffering of all victims of the conflict but also meets their needs, including financial needs.
"What the British government are putting forward in this guidance Document would create a hierarchy of victims which would exclude many, particularly those from within the nationalist and republican community.
"We made it clear that there is a need for a political solution to this issue so that a resolution could be found which meets the needs of all victims, with no one left behind. Instead the British government have presented this Guidance without consultation and completely against the 2006 legal definition of a victim.
"The victims' pension scheme cannot be exclusionary. The hurt and pain of all victims is the same.
"This is a further indication of the British government attempting to abandon the agreements on legacy in the Stormont House Agreement, agreed by the two governments and all the political parties. They focus instead on protecting and covering up the role of State Forces in the conflict, regardless of the needs of victims.
"We are committed to seeing the delivery of a victims' pension scheme which meets the needs of all victims and excludes no one."