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Farron stands up for contaminated blood victims in Parliament

November 24, 2016 6:13 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called in Parliament today for a fairer financial settlement for the loved ones of constituents infected by diseases as a result of contaminated blood transfusions over 30 years ago.

In the 1970s and 80s, thousands of people were accidentally infected with hepatitis and/or HIV in what has been described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. Many of those infected with contaminated blood have since died as a result.

Survivors of the scandal and their families have long campaigned for an adequate financial settlement from the Government, a campaign which Tim has fully supported as MP for South Lakeland.

Earlier this year, a Government consultation concluded that an appropriate settlement would be to grant a one-off discretionary payment of £10,000 to widows, widowers and partners, but it denied them access to an annual pension.

Tim said: "I welcomed David Cameron's apology on behalf of the Government this summer, but frankly the one-off £10,000 settlement payment offered to the loved ones of people who have died as a result of this debacle is downright offensive.

"For these people the suffering continues. Not only have they lost a loved one, but they are also being denied the dependability of annual payments. A widow I have spoken to in South Lakeland was forced to give up her own job to care for her husband. She therefore lost the ability to have a pension of her own, and now finds herself in immense hardship going forward.

"All we are calling for is parity with the provision made for widows, widowers and partners by the Scottish Government, which has agreed to pay 75% of the annual compensation entitlement to widows, plus a lump sum.

"The government should make up for past mistakes by offering a decent settlement, not trying to sweep the problem under the carpet for the cheapest possible sum."