The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) was set up by Stormont leaders to investigate allegations of abuse in 22 homes and other residential institutions which were run by charitable, religious and state organisations. The inquiry investigated allegations of abuse between the period of 1922 to 1995.
The chair of the inquiry, Sir Anthony Hart, recommended compensation, a memorial and a public apology to abuse survivors. He said a tax-free lump sum payment should be made to all survivors, including in homes and institutions that were not covered by the inquiry. This recommendation was made in 2017.
The Chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Andrew Murrison has written to the Northern Ireland Secretary, Karen Bradley, “urging the implementation of a law for compensation to victims of historical abuse.”
Mr Murrison has said, “legislation must be brought through Westminster as soon as possible.” He further added, “”The inability to implement the recommendations of the Hart report, despite the gravity of the issues it deals with, is a reminder to us all that restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive is essential to ensure justice, progress and protection for the people of Northern Ireland.”
Mr Murrison has said that, “Karen Bradley needed to grip this now for victims to get what they need without further painful delay”.
In November 2018, the Executive Office published three pieces of proposed legislation aimed at dealing with outstanding issues around historical institutional abuse. Earlier this year, the civil services said public consultation was being extended to the 10th March 2019. Once the consultation has concluded, the proposed legislation is required to be signed off by Ministers.
It is thought that the average compensation which could be paid to survivors is estimated at a figure of £18,500.00.