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Victims of Overseas Terrorism

Volume 532: debated on Tuesday 13 September 2011

Compensation for victims of terrorism overseas is being considered alongside the Government’s review of victims’ services and compensation in this country, at the conclusion of which we will publish a consultation document. We plan to make an announcement on the victims of terrorism overseas at the same time as we launch the consultation.

I thank the Minister, but the families of the victims of overseas terrorism and the survivors were promised on 28 June that an announcement would be made “in the coming weeks”. Some two and a half months have now passed with no announcement. How much longer should the victims and their families expect to wait?

I have to confess that the hon. Lady has a valid point on the timing, but the fact is that it makes sense to consider the victim support that we give, the present criminal injuries compensation scheme and the support that the Foreign Office gives overseas alongside the proposed terrorism compensation scheme. This has always been a great difficulty over the years. We can all recall that, probably over the past 20 years, people’s aspirations to help victims here and abroad have run rather ahead of the arrangements made to finance them. I assure the hon. Lady that we are having to look at this again. I realise that we are slipping behind the timetable that we announced, but we will proceed as quickly as we can.