Staring contest over Victims’ Payment Scheme cannot continue – Doug Beattie MC MLA

Ulster Unionist Party MLA and Executive Office Committee Vice-Chair, Doug Beattie MC, has called on The Executive Office to step up to the mark and nominate a lead Department to take forward the Victims’ Payment Scheme.

Doug Beattie MC MLA said:

“There is now a staring contest going on between The Executive Office and the UK Government and this cannot be allowed to continue. 

“The duty is on The Executive Office to take the Victims’ Payment Scheme forward so they have to show leadership in taking the first steps in resolving this issue.  The First and deputy First Ministers need to step up and designate a Department to take the lead on delivering the administration of the scheme. 

“Once an Executive Department is given the green light to take this work forward a business case can be put together to enable a serious conversation with the UK Government on the issue of funding the Scheme.  Just continuing the current chicken and egg argument only prolongs victims’ pain. 

“The Executive Office needs to step up to the mark here.  There is no excuse for the preparatory work not having been done in the run up to the 29 May.  Even if the money was made available tomorrow, the fact the structures have not been put in place to administer the scheme means it could not move forward. 

“There needs to be a very clear statement from The Executive Office as to how they are going to remedy this situation that doesn’t merely involve pointing at the UK Government.  If there is foot dragging by one party in the Office then that needs to be made public.  Is there unity within TEO on the delivery of this scheme or not?”

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