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Post Office Ltd: Horizon Compensation Funding

Volume 742: debated on Tuesday 19 December 2023

In October, I announced that the Government intend to provide additional funding to Post Office to meet the costs of participating in the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry and delivering compensation to postmasters. These activities are part of Post Office’s response to the Horizon IT scandal, which arose following the installation of the Horizon software in the late 1990s. I also announced that the Government intend to provide additional funding to help with the development of the replacement for the Horizon IT system and to ensure Horizon is maintained while that replacement is rolled out.

In accordance with the Subsidy Control Act 2022, the Department for Business and Trade’s assessment of the funding’s compliance with the subsidy control principles was subject to referral to the Subsidy Advice Unit. A report for each referral was published by the Subsidy Advice Unit, which concluded that the Department had

“conducted an assessment which considers the subsidy’s compliance with the subsidy control principles in line with the Statutory Guidance”.

The reports for both the inquiry and compensation delivery subsidy and the IT subsidy can be found at https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/referral-of-the-proposed-subsidy-to-post-office-limited-by-the-department-for-business-and-trade#final-report

and https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/referral-of-the-proposed-subsidy-post-office-it-interim-funding-by-the-department-for-business-and-trade respectively.

In October, I committed to confirm final levels of funding to the House at the earliest opportunity. Following the publication of the reports by the Subsidy Advice Unit and the conclusion of the subsequent “cooling off” period, I can now confirm that the Department for Business and Trade has agreed to provide £150 million to Post Office for inquiry and compensation delivery costs and £103 million for IT costs in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 financial years.

[HCWS155]