Government extends funding to enable late applications by postmasters to Historical Shortfall Scheme

Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

The government has Thursday extended funding for Post Office to enable late applications by postmasters to the Historical Shortfall Scheme.

The scheme, launched in May 2020, provides compensation for postmasters who had to cover financial shortfalls in their branch’s accounts caused by the Horizon IT system but were not convicted.

The government said 82 per cent of eligible claimants have now received an offer, with £52 million being offered in total.

However, there remain individuals who were unable to apply for the scheme while it was open, and today’s announcement will enable Post Office to accept eligible late applications as part of the scheme to ensure these postmasters receive the compensation they are owed.

“My priority is to ensure that all those impacted by the Horizon scandal receive compensation fairly and quickly,” Postal Affairs Minister Dean Russell said.

“By coming forward with additional funding, we are ensuring that innocent postmasters who were unable to tap into the Historical Shortfall Scheme do not miss out on the compensation they deserve.”

Post Office will be writing out to all individuals who have contacted them about a late application to the Historical Shortfall Scheme to inform them of this. Individuals who may have been eligible to claim compensation under the Historical Shortfall Scheme are being urged to contact Post Office to discuss their position.

All late applications will be managed through existing Historical Shortfall Scheme processes, including an assessment by the Independent Advisory Panel, to ensure claims are considered consistently with those already submitted.