More

    Taxpayers to pay £1 billion in compensation for Horizon post office scandal

    Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

    Taxpayers may have to pay as much as £1 billion in compensation to former Post Office workers wrongly convicted of theft due to the defective Horizon IT system, stated a report on Sunday (23).

    The system, which was installed by the Post Office and supplied by Fujitsu, falsely suggested there were cash shortfalls, leading to 736 unsafe convictions for theft, fraud and false accounting in what is often deemed as one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

    The Post Office has said it cannot afford to foot the huge cleanup bill for the scandal and last month the government, the service’s only shareholder, confirmed the taxpayer would have to step in.

    According to the Post Office Scandal blog by the journalist Nick Wallis, who has written a book on the fiasco, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has now made three grants available to the Post Office that total just over £1bn.

    The most recent grant, made last month, was for £686m, and came on top of previous awards of £94m and £233m. In his post, first reported by the Sunday Times, Wallis said the figures involved meant the Post office Horizon IT disaster was now a “fully fledged £1bn scandal”.

    So far, the Post Office has offered compensation to 777 of the 2,500 sub postmasters who have applied. Those who had convictions overturned have been offered interim payments of £100,000 while their claims are assessed.

    A spokesperson for BEIS said the subsidy figures were a “top estimate of what could be needed. It has not been spent and will only be given to the Post Office in arrears if and when required.”

    Between 2000 and 2014, the Post Office prosecuted 736 post office operators based on information from a recently installed computer system called Horizon. Some of the workers were jailed following convictions for false accounting and theft, and many were financially ruined.

    However, it emerged later it was the software Horizon, which contained bugs, errors and defects, that had caused the problems. The high court judgement quashed many of the convictions.

    Latest

    Valeo Foods acquires Canadian maple syrup business Appalaches Nature

    Valeo Foods Group, one of Europe’s leading producers of...

    New Four Loko Pink Melon – for a taste of summer

    Vodka-based RTD brand Four Loko has unveiled its latest...

    Ice-cream prices soar up by more than 30 per cent: Which?

    Price of popular ice-creams and lollies have soared by...

    Local stores raise alarm as shop theft figures touch record high levels

    Shoplifting offences have increased to a new 20 year...

    Don't miss

    Valeo Foods acquires Canadian maple syrup business Appalaches Nature

    Valeo Foods Group, one of Europe’s leading producers of...

    New Four Loko Pink Melon – for a taste of summer

    Vodka-based RTD brand Four Loko has unveiled its latest...

    Ice-cream prices soar up by more than 30 per cent: Which?

    Price of popular ice-creams and lollies have soared by...

    Local stores raise alarm as shop theft figures touch record high levels

    Shoplifting offences have increased to a new 20 year...

    Johnnie Walker AI-powered whisky personalisation experience at Princes Street

    Johnnie Walker Princes Street's Spirit Tourism Experience has created...

    Valeo Foods acquires Canadian maple syrup business Appalaches Nature

    Valeo Foods Group, one of Europe’s leading producers of sweets, treats and snacks, has completed the acquisition of Appalaches Nature, a Canadian maple syrup...

    Ice-cream prices soar up by more than 30 per cent: Which?

    Price of popular ice-creams and lollies have soared by more than 30 per cent over the past two years, states a recent report, highlighting...

    Local stores raise alarm as shop theft figures touch record high levels

    Shoplifting offences have increased to a new 20 year high reaching almost half a million incidents in the year to March, show the figures...