Scottish Government: apology and financial redress scheme
The Scottish Government has accepted the recommendations of the review group whose report was noted in our blog of 7 September.
On 23 October, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister sought, on behalf of the Scottish Government, to address survivors directly saying “we believe you, and we are sorry”. He also committed the Scottish Government to introduce to the Scottish Parliament legislation for a financial redress scheme by the end of the current parliamentary term in 2021, with advanced payments for survivors who may not live long enough to apply to the statutory scheme. The Times has since reported that the Scottish Government “is facing a potential £200 million bill” in these respects. The Deputy First Minister also indicated that care providers who ran the establishments where abuse took place could be compelled to provide funding.
The details of the redress scheme are yet to be worked out. It appears that it will be restricted to those who suffered “in-care” abuse. A definition of “in-care” for this purpose is likely to be in the legislation. Another matter which the legislation may clarify is the interaction between any civil claims for compensation and applications to the statutory scheme for redress. It is anticipated that the “fast-track”, or advanced, payments will be available to those aged over 70 and those who are approaching the end of their life through ill-health.
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry
Also on 23 October, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry started Phase 3 of its work. This phase has started with evidence in public on residential care provision by a non-religious voluntary organisation.
From its set-up in 2015 to 30 September 2018, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has cost £17,676,358.
Authored by Frank Hughes, Partner and Fiona McEwan, Associate, BLM Glasgow