News that councillors who decide not to stand for election in the proposed new 11 council boundaries are to receive a special financial severance package in ‘recognition’ of their service during the ‘troubles’ has led to calls for a comprehensive reparations package for the civilian bereaved and injured of the conflict.
Relatives for Justice who support and represent the families of people killed and injured in the conflict say the proposals ‘fly in the face of current schemes that exclude any type of financial support to family members bereaved in the conflict and begs the question what about those bereaved and injured.’
RFJ Director Mark Thompson said:
‘Siblings and grandchildren of people killed in the conflict have been excluded from support schemes for victims and survivors. Even parents, spouses and children bereaved must now undergo an assessment by the Victims and Survivors Service in order to access very limited and basic schemes.
‘News that a section of our society is acknowledged, recognized and compensated whilst the civilian bereaved and injured are yet again treated as second class is unacceptable.
‘Previously we had £20 million to the RUC reserve as a ‘gratuity payment’ and then £60 million to prison officers not to mention a range of other financial packages and tax dispensations over this past 15-years for members of the ‘security forces’. Many civilian families bereaved and people injured live in poverty as a direct consequence of their experiences struggling for adequate government support and recognition. They face many unacceptable barriers.
‘We are working with and supporting the families of people who; were elected officials who were targeted and killed; had relatives killed in attacks on their homes; and the families of those who stood for election and also had relatives killed.
‘In light of this news we ask the following questions;
- What about all those elected officials killed and their families?
- What about elected officials targeted and who had family members killed?
- What about those who stood for election and were targeted and had relatives killed?
‘It appears that every scheme and financial package is possible that is until it comes to reparations for the civilian bereaved and injured of the conflict.
We ask the executive; What about the civilian bereaved and injured of the conflict?
‘Its time that a comprehensive reparations programme was established for the civilian bereaved and injured that includes instead of excludes. Victims deserve better. They deserve equality of treatment.’ ENDS
Relatives for Justice will be seeking a meeting with the Minister Alex Attwood.