Anger as ex-terrorists eligible for new pension
A row is brewing over a new pension scheme which could exclude people who were horribly maimed by IRA bombs in Britain but allow former terrorists to cash in.
Anger is mounting over the Victims Pension Bill which is to provide retirement benefits to 400 victims left unable to work because of the Troubles.
It has emerged that it would exclude those hurt in attacks outside Northern Ireland, such as the Canary Wharf bombing.
The special pension was a key point of the Stormont House Agreement and is to be set at £150 (€207) a week.
Because current legislation does not judge how someone became injured, former paramilitaries could qualify if their injuries are serious enough. It is believed the loophole could allow six loyalist and four republican terrorists to cash in.
The DUP, which drew up plans for the pension, does not want money going to terrorists and is discussing ways of expanding the scheme to cover victims in Britain.
Sinn Féin said it would not support the proposals if former paramilitaries are to be excluded.