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Horizon scandal: Post Office victims get £19.5m government compensation

Horizon scandal
Image credit: Shutterstock / shawnwil23

The government has announced a £19.5m interim compensation package for the postmasters that were involved in uncovering the Post Office Horizon scandal.

Horizon accounting software was installed by the Post Office in the late 90s and managed by Fujitsu. However, technical faults meant the software incorrectly showed accounting shortfalls.

This led to more than 700 postmasters wrongly prosecuted between 1999 and 2015 for theft or false accounting in one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

In April last year, a group of sub-postmasters won a historic legal battle to clear their names.

A Post Office spokesperson told UKTN: “Ensuring full, fair and final compensation for all Horizon scandal victims is a priority as we put right the wrongs of the past. Almost two-thirds of postmasters in the Historical Shortfall Scheme have received compensation offers, the majority of which are already paid.

“We welcome the government taking action on final, equitable compensation for the postmasters who were part of the group litigation settlement and those whose Horizon-related convictions are overturned.”

The latest package brings the total compensation to around £30m.

Paul Scully, postal affairs minister, said: “I hope this initial step provides some comfort to these pioneering postmasters while reaffirming our commitment to ensuring they receive their fair share in compensation.”

The Royal Mail last month announced plans to launch 50 new postal drone delivery routes.