New law to compensate abuse survivors backed by Holyrood committee although concerns remain

A Bill that aims to provide financial compensation for survivors of historic childhood abuse has been backed by a committee of MSPs.

But Holyrood’s Education Committee has raised some of concerns about how the scheme will work in practice.

It has published a report into the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill.

People who suffered childhood abuse in a residential setting before 2004 would be able to claim for a fixed-rate payment of £10,000, rising to £80,000 based on more detailed examination of their experiences.

Some survivors voiced concerns that this is lower than claims for damages typically awarded by civil courts.

The committee said it has “fundamental difficulties” with parts of the Bill that require survivors to sign a waiver preventing them from taking future civil action against an organisation in order to access the scheme.

Committee convener Clare Adamson (pictured) thanked survivors who shared their experiences with MSPs, saying: “It is essential that they remain at the heart of this scheme, that their voices are heard and they continue to be consulted as the scheme develops.

“The committee also spoke to a range of other stakeholders, including organisations responsible for historical abuse.

“It is vital the Scottish Government maximises opportunities for such organisations to participate in the scheme.”

She added: “The report makes it clear that further work is required, in order to fully achieve that aim.

“We ask the Scottish Government to look carefully at the recommendations we have made in today’s report and reflect on any changes needed ahead of Stage 2.”

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