MPs claim that windrush scheme inadequacies are a continuation of injustices from the past

Mark Easton
Home editor

Image source, PA
Caption for the image

Empire Windrush brought the UK one of the first big groups of Caribbean migrants.

According to MPs, the scheme that was supposed to pay Windrush members wrongly classified as illegal immigrants only exacerbated the injustice.

A report from the Home Affairs Committee found that four years have passed since the scandal was first revealed.

According to the inquiry, there were “a lot of problems” with both design and operation.

In a statement, the Home Office said that they “continue to make improvements”.

Windrush Compensation Scheme by the Home Office was established in 2018, to correct a scandal that saw many thousands of British citizens denied housing, healthcare or employment rights.

Some were wrongly classified by the government as illegal immigrants and ended up in detention or being deported.

According to the report, however, applying for compensation can be a more traumatizing experience.

  • Windrush compensation: £30m offered to victims so far, Home Office says
  • Compensation is still being sought by victims of windrush
  • Windrush: Some victims died before getting compensation

In its report, the cross-party committee of MPs who examine government policies on areas such as immigration and security found that there is an excessive amount of claimants to handle and inadequate staffing.

The committee found that vital lessons were not learned four years after the Windrush scandal.

According to the report, many of the bureaucratic insensitivities in this scheme are the same ones that caused the Windrush scandal.

It was too slow to get involved at the grassroots to create trust in this scheme.

Due to such delays, September 2021 saw only one fifth of 15,000 eligible claimants apply for the scheme. Only 25% had received compensation.

The MPs emphasized the fact that 23 people died before they received any compensation.

Although the politicians were pleased with changes to the system in December 2020 that would speed up payments, they said these had been long overdue and didn’t go far enough.

“It is shocking that so few people have received compensation for the hardships they experienced at the Home Office,” said Yvette cooper, chairperson of the committee.

“It’s urgent to take action immediately to ensure that compensation is paid to all those who have suffered so much.

She said, “It’s staggering that some of these same problems have been allowed to affect the Windrush Compensation Scheme, considering the failings of Windrush,”

According to the report, Home Office should:

  • Encourage more Windrush Generation members to submit claims for compensation
  • Make sure everyone who was affected receives compensation as soon as possible
  • Increase your monthly payment
  • Guarantee legal assistance to all claimants
  • Give more support to grassroots campaigns

Officials from the Home Office responded to the report saying that the Home Secretary and Department would not relent in their determination to make sure that Windrush Generation members get every dollar of compensation to which they are entitled.

We are making improvements such as simplifying application processes, hiring more caseworkers, and eliminating the deadline.

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