Post Office Horizon compensation – £600k offer ‘not enough’Postal, Post Office (PO) September 20 2023
Union vows to keep fighting for ‘full accountability of those responsible’ for scandal…
“This offer sounds like a big deal, but how do you put a price on the destruction of so many lives?” asked CWU acting deputy general secretary Andy Furey, in response to the Government’s announcement of a new compensation package for those postmasters who were wrongly convicted by a system relying wholly on ‘evidence’ from the faulty Horizon accounting system used by the Post Office in the early 2000s.
Post Office Minister Kevin Hollinrake told the BBC on Monday: “If you’ve suffered a conviction, and you’ve had that conviction overturned, £600,000 is there waiting for you” and added that, if individuals had already received compensation below that figure, the difference would be paid, while those who feel that their circumstances warrant compensation above that figure would still be able to continue with their claims.
Commenting on the development, Andy Furey told CWU News: “I’m sure all of the victims will consider very carefully what they have lost in real terms before accepting this offer. And of course, they most certainly have every right to continue with their current legal actions if they choose to do so.
“This £600k may seem like a large sum, but individuals have lost their livelihoods, their reputations, their homes, in some instances it has directly led to family breakdowns and in a number of cases, individuals have very sadly passed away before receiving justice. As stated already, how on earth does one even begin to put a price on all of that suffering.”
As well as the ongoing fight for fair recompense, Andy also highlighted the crucially important question of accountability, saying: “The other top priority here must be that of bringing the guilty men and women to justice – those who made the key decisions on launching these prosecutions, those who persisted in these legalised victimisations.”
CWU Postmasters National Branch secretary Sean Hudson agreed with Andy’s analysis, describing Mr Hollindrake’s statement as “a cynical attempt to settle these matters by waving cash in front of cash-strapped former postmasters whose lives have been ruined. This sum of £600k – on any serious and realistic valuation – clearly will not be enough to make up for the real losses that people have suffered.”
And on the need to hold those responsible accountable for their actions, Sean continued: “The fact is that the people who should be being held accountable are still hiding from that accountability and seem to be being assisted by the Government in doing so.
“We demand full accountability.”