Earlier this morning the Government announced that it had approved Sir Brian Langstaff’s recommendations to pay infected blood victims and bereaved partners an interim compensation payment of £100,000.
The announcement comes after several days of speculation and will be paid directly to infected individuals and bereaved partners who are registered to one of the four UK infected blood support schemes. The payment will be tax-free and will not affect any financial support benefits an individual is currently receiving.
The Government intends for victims in England to receive payment by the end of October, we have not heard yet heard any official statement from the Scottish Government on their intentions but further details will be added to this post as we receive updates throughout the day.
The Government Press Release can be read in full here.
Haemophilia Scotland have welcomed the announcement today by the UK Government that interim compensation will now be paid to all those infected and bereaved partners.
In the short term there remain some details to be clarified. We understand from Scottish Government that they have yet to discover when exactly they will receive the necessary approx. £55 million from the UK to distribute the £100,000 per claimant in Scotland to the 549 people who will be due those payments. It is planned they will be distributed via the Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme.
There are also details that have still to be resolved about ensuring payments are exempt from taxation (including inheritance tax) and no loss of benefits including council tax exemption .
Responding to the Government statement released overnight, Chair Bill Wright said:-
“This is a pivotal step in that Government have finally acknowledged that compensation should be paid, rather than the previous policy of ‘support’. Compensation implies acknowledgement of wrong doing. We will have to await the full findings of the UK Infected Blood inquiry to establish just how wrongly Governments have acted in the past but we can now start to move forward toward a situation where the infected and bereaved partners can start to get on with their lives more positively.
Much remains to be done however, particularly for the sons, daughters and parents of those infected particularly where HIV or hepatitis C has ultimately resulted in the loss of life.
So we still have a lot of work to do to ensure that all those affected get the full compensation they deserve. The Infected Blood Inquiry has been a long and harrowing process. On its completion next summer we hope that Governments across the UK will finally act to ensure that all impacted by this catastrophe are able to move on and the NHS and Government take the action needed to avoid all the failures that resulted in such a disaster.”
For further information on this matter, please contact the office on 0845 874 4004 or email us at email@example.com.