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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Plan for terror victim payments
Tony Blair in the Commons
Mr Blair said 13 payments to victims of 7 July had been made
A new compensation scheme may be set up for British victims of terror attacks, Prime Minister Tony Blair has said.

Officials were considering a scheme to cover UK victims wherever the attack occurred, Mr Blair told the Commons.

"We will look also at how again we can speed up the provision of payments to those who are victims of 7/7," he said.

MP David Winnick had expressed concern about delays in compensating victims of the London bombings under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority scheme.

The CICA is actually separate from government and therefore there is a limit to the degree to which we can push them
Tony Blair

Four suicide bombers killed 52 people and injured more than 700 when they blew themselves up on three Tube trains and a bus on 7 July.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority - CICA - made its first payments to victims of the bombings on 4 October.

Mr Blair, speaking during prime minister's questions, said he understood there were concerns about the time taken to make the payments.

He added: "The CICA is actually separate from government and therefore there is a limit to the degree to which we can push them.

"But we have made our views clear and I do understand to be fair to them that they are making payments and have made some 30 offers of payments at the moment, 13 of which have been paid."

Set payments

Some victims and their families have expressed anguish at the level of the awards and the length of time they have had to wait for them.

Under Home Office guidelines, bereaved relatives will receive 11,000 each or 5,500 if two or more claim for the same victim.

They will also be able to claim "reasonable" extra payments for funeral costs.

And dependent children will be entitled to 2,000 every year until their 18th birthday.

Seriously debilitated survivors who claim for loss of earnings and care costs as well as compensation will receive up to 500,000 each.

Other compensation levels include 27,000 for the loss of an eye and 16,500 for tinnitus.

The government was also looking at setting up a separate compensation scheme for British victims of terrorism overseas, Downing Street later confirmed.

A spokesman said discussions were at an early stage and no conclusions had been reached.

He said they were also looking more broadly at the issue of compensation.

A Home Office spokesman said that reform of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board was under way to speed up payments to victims in the UK.

It has been proposed that smaller payments are made to people with lighter injuries so that more money is left for victims with more serious injuries.

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