Minister told: don’t delay fair support payments again

Written by Jessica Bomford, June 23, 2020

Northern Ireland’s Health Minister has brought the issue of infected blood support payments ‘back to square one’ by failing to allocate £1m to victims of contaminated blood, a letter from The Haemophilia Society has warned.

Clive Smith, chair of The Society, has written to Health Minister Robin Swann to express his frustration that uplifted payment levels have not been continued for this financial year – despite money being available to do so.

Earlier this year, recipients of the scheme in Northern Ireland received backdated payments to bring them in line with the amounts paid in England. Widows got an extra one-off payment of £5,000.

It was assumed that the uplifted payments would continue for this financial year, but, despite £1m being allocated for this, Mr Swann has not yet made the decision to increase the support.

In his letter, Clive said people reliant on the scheme had once again been plunged into financial insecurity and urged Mr Swann to act quickly to increase payments.

You can read more about The Society’s fair funding campaign here.