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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 September 2005, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Cash pledge for 7/7 blast victims
Floral tributes to those killed in the London blasts
The relatives of those who died are due to receive financial assistance
Badly hurt survivors of the London bombs should start to get payments in the next couple of weeks, says Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Some survivors of the 7 July attacks have expressed anguish at the delays in compensation, which would allow them to avoid financial hardship.

Mr Blair said he would investigate reports that they and relatives of the 52 who died have not yet received help.

"I'll look into this... myself," he told the BBC's Sunday AM programme.

'Independent body'

It is 11 weeks since the blasts, and many of the injured are concerned that they have yet to receive any compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

I've enough to worry about at the moment with learning to walk again - this is an extra burden
Martine Wright

"The government should definitely help us," Martine Wright, 32, from London, who had both legs amputated after the Aldgate Tube bomb, told the News of the World.

"I'm worrying about mortgages and things like that. I've enough to worry about at the moment with learning to walk again - this is an extra burden."

Some of the most badly injured in the Tube and bus blasts, like Ms Wright, are unable to work as normal and face an uncertain financial future.

"Well I think what is going to happen now is that over the next couple of weeks those payments are going to be made," said Mr Blair.

"It's the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board that primarily handle this and obviously they're an independent board."

He added: "Given those stories that are there today I'll look into this obviously myself - but I'm sure that they'll make the payments as soon as they possibly can."

Financial hardship

Colin Ettinger, a lawyer representing 14 people injured by the London bombings, said that to deliver Mr Blair's pledge for payments to start in the next couple of weeks would take "a significant injection of cash".

"The real problem is financial hardship, apart from the fact that they've got put up with the injuries.

"In the case of the fatalities, families have got to cope without their loved ones, which in some cases were the bread winners."

All his clients were now waiting for their cases to be processed.

"It does take a long time," Mr Ettinger said.

"In order to achieve what the prime minister has said will need a significant injection of cash to improve resources for the board to operate effectively."




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