The decision by the Court of Appeal to adjourn a decision on the Victims’ Payment scheme until the 26th March is yet another disappointment for innocent victims of terrorism, according to Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW).

UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “This latest delay follows a claim made by The Executive Office that it cannot afford the scheme.

“The Executive Office is at loggerheads with the Government over funding for the scheme and this excuse expressed in Court does nothing to assuage the views of innocent victims that they are being used as pawns in a grubby political tug-o-war.

“It is scandalous that this situation has been allowed to drag on for a year. Ministers are seemingly indifferent to the pain and suffering their indecision and in-fighting are causing people in need.

“Innocent victims, through no fault of their own, are living with shocking and awful injuries and conditions due to the actions of mindless terrorists. Every day that passes without a resolution to the Payments Scheme leaves them feeling they are forgotten and abandoned at the very back of the queue.

“This is not the way for a civilised society to treat its most vulnerable and needy.”