Abuse survivors could get millions in compensation

Survivor

Campaign groups press for individual payouts for victims 

7th September 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Millions of pounds in compensation should be awarded to historic abuse survivors in Scotland.

A review group set up by Scottish government ministers tasked with investigating compensation, concluded that a fund would help provide justice to those abused while in state care. 

The group says flat rate payments should be paid to all victims, with an individual experience element reflecting the personal abuse they suffered and how this impacted on their lives.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, chaired by Lady Anne Smith, was set up in 2015 and has heard testimonies of hundreds of victims abused while in state care.  

Simon Collins, a lawyer working for Incas (In Care Abuse Survivors) said Lady Smith has told that the inquiry will scrutinise more than 20 case studies in a bid to see if they are eligible for compensation.

He said: "The review group has taken the view that providing redress is the right thing to do.

He added: "I would hope the pot for this would not be capped."

Collins stated that other organisations who oversee the care of the victims, such as councils, should also contribute to any compensation.   

"If the government has to pick up the tab it would still be open for those organisations responsible for the care of the children – although not legally compelled to – to recognise a moral obligation to contribute to the costs," he said.

However it is feared that legislation to establish a compensation scheme may not be passed until March 2021.

Alan Draper, spokesman for Incas, called for interim payments for elderly vicims and to inform abuse victims in the meantime.

"We support the recommendations 100%," he said. "This is something we have been pushing for for years. But March 2021 is a long way off."

While there is no indication how much compensation will be offered, similar funds in countries such as Australia, Sweden and Ireland have offered cash settlements of between £7,000 and £20,000 each.

Deputy first minister John Swinney said: “We will now give the recommendations early, detailed and sensitive consideration, and report back to Parliament in due course.

"We recognise the hurt and damage caused to those who were abused in childhood by the very institutions who should have cared for them, and will continue to work closely with survivors and their representatives.”