Scots councils paid £1.5m to child abuse victims

SCOTTISH councils have paid out around £1.5 million in compensation to the victims of child abuse during the past decade.

Payments were made in relation to physical and sexual abuse which took place in schools and children’s homes.

Dumfries and Galloway made the biggest award, paying out a total of £1m to 50 individuals abused at the Merkland children’s home in Moffat. Smaller amounts were paid by Glasgow City Council and Fife Council.

The figures are published today as work gets under way on Scotland’s inquiry into the historical abuse of children in care, which is due to begin taking evidence in October.

The inquiry’s chair, Susan O’Brien QC, took up her position earlier this month after surviving a last-minute legal challenge by two Catholic congregations to unseat her.

One of the issues O’Brien will be asked to consider is interim compensation payments for those abused while in care.

The Scottish Government has already announced plans to lift a time bar which previously stopped many survivors taking civil actions against their alleged abusers.

Information obtained under Freedom of Information legislation shows Dumfries and Galloway Council made 50 payments of £20,000 each between April 2009 and 2011 in relation to abuse carried out at a former care home.

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