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Compensation (Overseas Terrorism)

Volume 530: debated on Tuesday 28 June 2011

18. Which organisations his Department has consulted on reforms to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and the scheme for compensating victims of overseas terrorism. (62263)

In the coming weeks we intend to launch a public consultation on victims services, which will include the criminal injuries consultation scheme. We will not make up our minds about any changes until we have carefully considered responses from the public and other interested parties. We will make an announcement about compensation for victims of terrorism overseas at the same time as we launch our consultation.

The Justice Secretary’s party signed up to the provisions of the Crime and Security Act 2010 that granted compensation to victims of overseas terrorism. He will know that victims fought hard for those provisions, including the backdating of compensation for those severely injured in atrocities such as the Bali and Mumbai attacks. I do not understand why he has snubbed those victims, who were led to believe that the compensation scheme would come on stream last September. How much longer will victims of overseas terrorism be expected to wait while he and his Ministers dither over this important and just scheme?

I am afraid that there was a certain amount of confusion under the previous Administration, when for some reason the Department for Culture, Media and Sport had responsibility for overseas terrorism issues. These issues have now been brought together, and we will bring forward our proposals on victims of overseas terrorism in tandem with our proposals on criminal injuries compensation.