CLLR DENISE MULLEN: Pension’s Breakthrough Welcome, But Immediate Clarity Needed
Aontú Deputy Leader & Cllr for Mid Ulster, Denise Mullen, has welcomed a breakthrough in the pension’s quagmire, but has called for immediate clarity as to the criteria being applied to determine eligibility.
“Today’s announcement from the Stormont Executive Office that they will foot the bill for a Pension scheme for victims and survivors of the Troubles, is long overdue but welcome. For months, this issue has been a political football and been fought through the Courts. It took a case from Brian Turley, one of the Hooded Men subjected to enhanced interrogation torture techniques from the British Military, to have funding for a Pension scheme put in place. It should not have taken the Courts and such a level of pressure, for victims and survivors of the Troubles to receive a pension.”
“The particulars of the scheme and funding are still unclear. I urge the Stormont Executive to immediately clarify the eligibility criteria for the scheme to make sure victims and survivors are not arbitrarily barred from a pension. An issue I and thousands of others have campaigned for is that eligibility for pension payments would be extended to those suffering from psychological injury and PTSD – I sincerely hope that these are considered grounds of eligibility under the new scheme. Today’s announcement is welcome and overdue, but immediate clarity is needed for us to be at ease.”