Deputy First Minister hails progress in setting up redress scheme for historic abuse survivors

Significant progress has been made in setting up a scheme to provide financial compensation to the survivors of historic in-care abuse, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said.

He was giving a progress report to MSPs at Holyrood three months after it passed legislation which will see abuse survivors receive redress payments of up to £100,000.

Former Police Scotland deputy chief constable Johnny Gwynne, who is also a past director of the UK National Crime Agency with responsibility for tackling child exploitation, has been appointed as chair of Redress Scotland – the new body which will run the scheme.

Mr Swinney (pictured) said: “Some children in residential care in Scotland were failed by those entrusted to look after them, often with catastrophic results.

“Scotland is taking steps to face up to those failings by establishing this financial redress scheme for survivors.

“In leading the establishment of Redress Scotland, Johnny is resolutely committed to building the type of independent and transparent organisation which is capable of delivering justice for survivors.

“I am in no doubt that he will bring the needed leadership and empathy to this key strategic role. The scheme will have embedded within it the principles of dignity, respect and compassion.”

The Deputy First Minister reaffirmed the commitment that the redress scheme would be up and running by the end of this year.

“I want to confirm that the Scottish Government remains committed to opening the redress scheme as quickly as possible,” he said.

“I have previously stated the scheme will be operational this year, opening in December at the latest, and I want to reiterate this commitment today.”

Talks are taking place with the UK Government to ensure that benefit payments to abuse survivors will not be affected as a result of receiving a redress payment.

Mr Swinney said it was “of the utmost importance that survivors are not negatively impacted” as he said the Scottish Government was “working to secure appropriate disregards before any redress payments are made under the scheme”.

He also revealed talks have taken place with a “wide range of public and third-sector organisations” to see if they will contribute towards redress payments.

This is taking place because it is “of importance to a great many survivors that redress payments include contributions from the organisations that were responsible for their care at the time of abuse”.

The Deputy First Minister said: “We hope to be able to reach agreements with a number of organisations in the near future.”

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