The Scottish Government’s consultation on their proposed financial redress scheme for victims of historical child abuse is currently running, and will be open until 25th November 2019.
Following their announcement that they intended to set up such a scheme in October of last year, the Scottish Government is now seeking views on a number of matters in relation to the way in which the scheme will work, building on their previous survivor consultation from 2017.
Proposals that they are looking for public comment on include the intended wording of the purpose of financial redress (“to acknowledge and respond to the harm that was done to children who were abused in care in the past in residential settings in Scotland where institutions and bodies had long-term responsibility for the care of the child in place of the parent”), including what is meant by “in care” and which residential settings should be eligible; the intention that the scheme would only apply to abuse which took place before 1 December 2004; the intention that those with criminal convictions should not be excluded from the scheme; and their proposed payment and funding schemes.
The current proposal with regards to the payment scheme is for it to have a combination payment approach with two possible stages: stage 1, where the individual experience of abuse and its impact would not be assessed; and stage 2, an additional payment over and above the stage 1 payment, for which more information and supporting evidence would be required.
With regards to funding, the Scottish Government’s aim is to have the particular provider/institution responsible for the abuse contribute to reparation packages to the extent that they are accountable. This would be in line with other similar schemes in Ireland and Australia, and reflects the views of those who responded to the 2017 consultation.
The plan is that the law needed to introduce the financial redress scheme be introduced to the Scottish Parliament during 2020.
If you wish to respond to the consultation, details of how to do so are on the Scottish Parliament website. In the meantime, if you would like to speak to a member of our team about a potential claim in relation to historical abuse, our specialist team can be contacted on 0333 060 5725.