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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 18:24 GMT
Budget pledge for terror victims
The bombed bus in Tavistock Square after the 7 July attacks
The memorial will reflect relatives' wishes, the chancellor says
The chancellor has announced in his Budget plans a memorial to the victims of the 7 July bombings and a fund to support victims of terrorism.

An initial 1m would go towards the setting up of a charitable fund to support UK victims of terrorism at home and abroad, Gordon Brown announced.

There would also be funding for a 7 July memorial reflecting "the wishes of the victims' families", he said.

The 7 July attacks in London by four suicide bombers killed 52 people.

Mr Brown said: "We will never forget those who lost their lives and those who were injured."

'Inequity'

The British Red Cross said it was pleased the government had finally recognised the "inequity" suffered by UK victims of terrorist atrocities abroad.

The head of UK emergency response at the aid agency, Tony Thompson, said they had raised the issue with the government as long ago as the bombings in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in July 2005, but had been concerned at the disparity since the Bali bombings in October 2002.

Mr Thompson said: "This is a major step in the right direction and there is still a lot of work to do on the detail to make sure it is a fair system."

He said he expected the fund to provide short-term financial help for people who previously would not have access to UK compensation or be covered by travel insurance.

Details needed

He said it was not clear whether the scheme would be retrospective, but added he would "personally be deeply disappointed if it did not help those who had fallen through the cracks by not having access to a state compensation scheme or insurance".

A spokesman for Victim Support said it awaited details of how the 1m for the charitable fund was likely to be spent.

He said: "We welcome the government's decision to look at resources for victims of terrorist acts here and abroad, but we wonder whether a million pounds will be enough if it's merely going to be for compensation.

"If it's compensation, it may not last very long."

Such a sum could be better spent developing services to provide emotional support to victims, training counsellors, and evaluating the effectiveness of that work, he said.

Overseas attacks

Since the 11 September attacks on the US in 2001, 45 Britons have been killed and many more injured in terrorist attacks overseas.

But only people affected by terrorism on UK soil are eligible for compensation and support from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

And many insurance companies have clauses meaning they will not pay out in connection with a terrorist atrocity.

The chancellor first revealed plans for a permanent memorial to the 7 July victims last month.

A small remembrance plaque has already been unveiled in London's Victoria Embankment Gardens.




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