Reacting to the results of a survey carried out for the Commission for Victims and Survivors, Mike Nesbitt MLA, a former Commissioner for Victims and Survivors, said the results gave the Secretary of State the evidence base she needs to get on with measures to deal with the past, particularly the proposed pension for the severely injured.
Mr Nesbitt said:
"The fact that nearly three out of four people support the pension gives Karen Bradley the support she needs to start the process of introducing the pension. Remember, many of those carrying the worst injuries were hurt early in the Troubles, for no other reason that they went for a drink on a Friday in a pub that was bombed, or got shot on a Saturday morning going to the corner shop for the newspapers.
"They were denied so many life opportunities in education and employment, including the chance to build a pension for their later years. This needs addressed.
"By her own admission, the Secretary of State is relatively new to her role. The commemorative events marking the 20th Anniversary of the Belfast Agreement have exposed her to the spirit and intent of what was agreed and there can be no doubt, that includes a pension for the severely injured.
“The Agreement makes the pledge that participants will never ‘...forget those who have died or been injured, and their families.’ Ask those who have been in wheelchairs for decades because of their injuries and tell them in what way those are not simply empty words.”