Daily Mail

Post Office IT scandal victims miss out on £15m in payouts


THE Chancellor has refused to hand back £15million taken from Post Office IT scandal victims’ compensati­on packages.

Over 15 years, thousands of sub-postmaster­s were accused of stealing despite financial irregulari­ties being due to a glitch in the Horizon computer system.

After a 20-year campaign, backed by the Daily Mail, victims finally received payouts. But they found thousands of pounds in income tax had been taken.

Jeremy Hunt confirmed there had been tax exemptions worth £30million for 557 victims but he refused to extend them to others. The decision affects 2,417 postmaster­s who lost out financiall­y but were not prosecuted. Post Office figures show it retained £11.3million in income tax from the first 2,128 settlement­s. This is likely to have risen to just under £15million as 191 more have since been made.

One victim, Francis Duff, 80, received an offer of compensati­on, but the Post Office said it would withhold £71,533 in income tax and £251,359 under bankruptcy proceeding­s, leaving him with just £8,000.

MP Kevan Jones said: ‘This situation is appalling. The victims of the Horizon scandal should not have their compensati­on clawed back by the Treasury.’

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