Saturday, May 25, 2024
HomeHealthMinisters accept three-month deadline for infected blood scheme

Ministers accept three-month deadline for infected blood scheme


In April 2023, the chair of the ongoing public inquiry into the scandal, Sir Brian Langstaff, called for a full compensation scheme to be set up immediately. He also recommended interim payments should be extended to some of the children and parents of those who had died.

In December 2023, opposition MPs and Conservative rebels forced through a key vote in the Commons designed to speed up the creation of a new body to administer and run the scheme, the first parliamentary defeat for Rishi Sunak as prime minister.

More recently the government has been accused of trying to “wriggle out” of the new time limit by proposing its own amendments to the legislation in the Lords.

Faced with the possibility of losing another vote, ministers agreed to a Labour-led demand for the final compensation system to be in place within three months of the Victims and Prisoners Bill becoming law.

Speaking at the bill’s report stage, the Conservative peer Lord Howe said: “The government shares the determination of the House to ensure compensation reaches victims quickly.”

He added: “We recognise that Parliament and the infected blood community need clarity on when these measures will be in place.”

Nick Thomas-Symonds, Labour’s shadow minister without portfolio, said the decision marked “another important victory” for the victims of the scandal.

“The government has now been forced, under cross-party pressure, to set out a clear timetable to deliver a final compensation scheme,” he said.

“They must now progress – urgently – with getting the body ready to make payments.”

The public inquiry into the infected blood scandal has been running since 2018 and is expected to publish its final report and recommendations on 20 May.



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