Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Victims May See Compensation Payouts Double

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Victims May See Compensation Payouts Double

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN BENTHAM

A SWEEPING overhaul of compensation payments for victims of the 7 July terrorist bombings is to be announced by the Government within days.

Home Secretary John Reid is working on plans, expected to be announced next week, which could see the amounts paid to the London victims double or rise by even more in some cases.

The Government is also set to announce details of a memorial to the victims next week, and a twominute silence to mark the anniversary of the terrorist Tube and bus attacks.

The increased payouts will form part of a wider shake-up of the way compensation is paid to victims of crime. More than [pounds sterling]2 million in total has already been paid to 301 of those affected by the attacks.

In normal circumstances, any new measures would apply only to those injured after the legislation came into effect. Dr Reid has decided, however, that an exception will be made so that those injured in the bombings and the close families of those killed can be included retrospectively in any changes.

"We are seeking to improve compensation for victims of criminal and other injustice," he said.

"Since the events of July 7 were not only exceptional but were a spur to considering how to improve the system, I would regard it unfair if people had to wait until we completed the whole system and then found the improvements were not retrospective. The exceptional circumstances of July 7 have led me to consider I should regard by exception the victims of that tragedy."

Dr Reid said an announcement on the scale of the payouts was "imminent", although final details are still being worked on. At the moment, the maximum available is capped at [pounds sterling]500,000 with payments set according to a series of "tariffs" linked to specific injuries.

Asingle permanent memorial to the victims is to be erected. After consultation with bereaved relatives and the injured, the option of separate memorials at each of the four bomb sites is understood to have been rejected. …

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