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Scottish government fails to pay any money into a financial redress scheme for abuse survivors

THE Scottish government was criticised today for failing to pay any money into a compensation scheme for historic abuse survivors due to open this year.

Redress Scotland was set up following the passage of legislation in March with the intention of offering financial payments of up to £100,000 to those subject to abuse in care before December 2004.

To help fund the scheme, the legislation said funding packages would be negotiated with contributing organisations with a goal of it opening for applications by the end of the year.

But a freedom of information request by the PA news agency shows that no payments have yet been secured.

The Scottish government has said it remains confident of opening applications by the end of this year, adding that negotiations with contributors are in “advanced” stages.

But abuse survivor Dave Sharp has accused the Scottish government of only being interested in saving money, as he estimates the real cost of all survivors coming forward could exceed £500 million.

He told the Morning Star: “We have had no indication of any movement within the redress scheme setting up anything that is going to give survivors the confidence to come forward.”

Mr Sharp, who founded charity Safe — Seek And Find Everyone abused in childhood — is himself a victim of historic child abuse at the former St Ninian’s School in Falkland, Fife.

He is demanding that the Scottish government launch an awareness campaign about the redress scheme and has called for a national conversation on how Scotland treats survivors and deals with the subject of child abuse.

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