The Deputy First Minister has reiterated the Scottish government’s commitment to introducing a Bill to provide financial redress to survivors of historical in care child abuse.
John Swinney MSP, the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, wrote to Ms Clare Adamson MSP Convener Education and Skills Committee in June stating that in the government programme for 2019-20, the government is committed to introducing a Bill to provide financial redress to survivors of historical in care child abuse in this year’s legislative programme.
“While the Covid-19 emergency and response has affected all aspects of government work, including the preparation of draft legislation, I wanted to write to you to reiterate the intention of the government to introduce this important Bill,” said Mr Swinney.
“Following discussion with the Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans and officials, it is now planned to introduce the Redress Bill following the Parliamentary summer recess,” he added.
In October 2018, the Deputy First Minister of Scotland made a statement to Parliament in which he committed to establish a financial redress scheme for survivors of abuse in care. He also offered an unreserved and heartfelt apology on behalf of the Scottish Government to all those who were abused as children while in care. This followed a consultation on the prospect of a redress scheme.
The Advance Payment Scheme opened on 25 April 2019 for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse who suffered abuse in care in Scotland before December 2004 and either have a terminal illness or are age 68 or over. The age threshold was lowered in December 2019 following a review.
The December 2019 review of the Advance Payment Scheme was published considering a range of issues over the first five months of the scheme’s operation.
The main conclusion was that the age threshold for eligibility to the scheme should be lowered from age 70 or over to age 68 or over, with immediate effect
A public consultation on the statutory scheme and wider aspects closed on 25 November 2019. There were 280 responses received, with the majority being from survivors. Independent analysis of all consultation responses has now concluded and a report was published on 23 March 2020.
Financial redress for survivors of historical child abuse in care
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