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02/09/19 10:56

Consultation on financial redress

Views sought to shape legislation.

Those responsible for the abuse of children in care should make financial contributions to a new redress scheme, according to a consultation published today.

The Scottish Government is seeking views on the design of a statutory financial redress scheme for survivors of historical child abuse in care.

The consultation, building on the findings of earlier work with survivors in 2017, proposes a two-stage payment approach, comprising a flat rate payment, with the option of applying for an additional payment reflecting the nature and severity of abuse and the lifelong impact on survivors.

It also seeks views on creating a new public body to administer the scheme and an independent panel to decide on applications.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Scotland has joined a small but growing number of countries facing up to the wrongs of the past.

“Responding to the harm done to children in care by those trusted to look after them is the right thing to do. I know that nothing can make up for what happened, but along with other measures to help survivors, financial redress is an important step.

“Getting the design of a financial redress scheme right is of the utmost importance if it is to give survivors the acknowledgement they need and deserve. That is why I encourage everyone to have their say by taking part in the consultation.”

This consultation addresses the principles and structures of the redress scheme. The Scottish Government will continue to work with survivors and will consider payment levels at a later stage.

Helen Holland, chair of In Care Abuse Survivors group (INCAS), said: “We encourage all survivors to participate in the public consultation. It is important their voices are heard.”

David Whelan, spokesperson for Former Boys and Girls Abused in Quarriers, said: “We welcome the very positive steps that the Scottish Government has taken to commit to implementing a redress scheme for former residents abused in the past care system.

“The severe harm, damage and trauma inflicted and its impact on former residents abused, as highlighted in the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, simply cannot be quantified in monetary terms. A redress scheme, that is fair and reasonable, will go some way to help survivors rebuild their shattered lives.”

Background

The consultation also proposes:

  • historical abuse to be defined as abuse which took place prior to 1 December 2004
  • spouses and children of deceased survivors should be able to make an application for a next of kin payment
  • the scheme would open for applications of up to five years with a power in the Bill to extend this if required
  • bringing together a wider reparation package for survivors including support and acknowledgement

The consultation using the Scottish Government’s consultation hub

opens today. The closing date for responses is 25 November.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will help design the statutory financial redress scheme. The bill will be introduced in Spring 2020.

THE Deputy First Minister made a statement in Parliament on 23 October 2018 giving a commitment to establishing a financial redress scheme for survivors of child abuse in care and ensuring that the legislation for it is passed before the end of the Parliamentary term in March 2021, subject to parliamentary approval.

The Advance Payment Scheme, for those with a terminal illness or aged 70 or over, opened on 25 April 219. This was set up as many survivors are approaching the end of their life and may not live long enough to apply to the statutory redress scheme. The intention is that the advance payment scheme should remain open until the statutory scheme is operational.

If a survivor has made a successful claim through the Advance Payment Scheme this will not prevent them from making another claim under the financial redress scheme.