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MSPs back financial redress for survivors of child abuse in care

Holyrood magazine

MSPs back financial redress for survivors of child abuse in care

Historical survivors of child abuse in care in Scotland are a step closer to receiving compensation payments, after MSPs backed the general principles of a bill.

The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill seeks to set up a scheme to make financial payments to survivors.

It would also allow payments to be made to partners or children of survivors in some circumstances, if the survivor has died.

Holyrood’s education committee said the plans provided a “straight forward, easy to access scheme”.

But MSPs also said there were “fundamental issues with the calculation of ‘fair and meaningful’ contributions and the waiver”, which would allow organisations responsible for historical child abuse to contribute to the scheme.

In return, an organisation would benefit from a waiver to prevent a survivor taking civil action against it in the future.

Convener Clare Adamson said: “We are grateful to all the victims/survivors who took the time to share their views with the committee, both in evidence and privately. It is essential that they remain at the heart of this scheme, that their voices are heard and they continue to be consulted as the scheme develops.

“The committee also spoke to a range of other stakeholders, including organisations responsible for historical abuse. It is vital the Scottish Government maximises opportunities for such organisations to participate in the scheme. The report makes it clear that further work is required, in order to fully achieve that aim.”

Survivors of in-care abuse who are aged 68 and over or who have a terminal illness can already apply for redress through the advanced payment scheme.

The bill see this interim scheme replaced and also create a new public body, Redress Scotland, to make decisions about payments.

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