Posted on July 23, 2019
The NIO has been examining advice from the victims’ commissioner on how to put in place a pension for people severely injured during the Troubles.
Judith Thompson previously said the pension should also be available to those who staged attacks. A statement issued by 14 victims’ groups said they condemned the move.
On Monday NIO Minister John Penrose told the House of Commons that “there is no moral equivalence between a bystander badly injured in a terrorist explosion through no fault of their own and and people who manufactured the bomb, placed the bomb, and detonated the bomb.” He was replying to the DUP MP Emma Little Pengelly who welcomed the assurance. Last week, another NIO Minister, Lord Duncan, said in the House of Lords that a Troubles pension would abide by the principal of “through no fault of their own.”
A number of victims groups have called for the resignation of the Victims Commissioner, Judith Thompson, who last week advised the government that those badly injured should be able to apply for a Troubles pensions – including those hurt while carrying out attacks. The advice refers to the Victims and Survivors (NI) Order 2006 which makes no distinction between paramilitaries and victims.
Victims’ commissioner Judith Thompson has said she will continue in the role. Ms Thompson said she understood that “many people are deeply uncomfortable and indeed angry that the definition of a victim as laid down in 2006 could allow someone who has harmed others to be eligible for a pension”.