Statement on Interim Compensation Payments

Written by Aaron Dennis, July 26, 2022

Today we publish the Haemophilia Society’s (THS) submission to Sir Brian Langstaff, Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry, on whether he should make a recommendation on interim compensation payments and what the scope of those payments should be.

We thank all our members who contacted us either by phone, email or through social media to give us their views on this very important issue. 

As you will see from the submission, which you can read in full here we made the following points

An interim recommendation on interim compensation payments should be made

  • An interim payment of no less than £100,000 should be made as soon as possible to the infected and bereaved currently registered on a UK infected blood support scheme
  • The interim recommendations should include the uplift to current support schemes proposed in Sir Robert Francis QC’s Infected Blood Compensation Study that regular payments should be set at 5% above national median earnings (net) plus the £10k tax free sum in recognition of additional financial issues incurred
  • Work should be undertaken immediately to tackle a number of bureaucratic hurdles which currently complicate and compromise potential payments to estates, primarily that as the law stands Inheritance Tax would be payable on any money received. 

The overwhelming consensus from our members is that the infected, many of whom are in poor and declining health, should be prioritised and that any early compensation payment recommendation needs to be both easy and quick to deliver. There was also a strong feeling that those affected also deserved to have their loss recognised. 

While we were very keen to include estates in the list of those affected who should receive an interim compensation, it became apparent over the course of last week that this would involve a number of complications which risked holding up the process for everybody. As well as being liable for Inheritance Tax, it wasn’t clear what the process for an interim payment would be if more than one person wanted to make a claim on an estate.  It is for these reasons that we have asked Sir Brian to highlight the urgent need to untangle this issue at the earliest possible opportunity, which we hope in turn can lead to a much speedier payment process for this group. 

Sir Brian will now consider our submission and those of other recognised legal representatives. 

Kate Burt, THS Chief Executive, said: ‘Our members should not have to wait a day longer for compensation that has been overdue for decades. We know from the many conversations we’ve had with those infected and affected recently, that this drawn-out battle for compensation is taking a heavy toll on their physical and mental well-being. I urge the government to publish its response to Sir Robert Francis QC’s compensation study without further delay and to commit to his recommendation that urgent interim compensation is paid.’