No payouts in 95% of claims for Windrush
JUST 60 people have had payments from the Government’s Windrush compensation scheme, the Home Office has confirmed.
Officials have only paid out £360,000 to five per cent of claimants during the first 12 months – despite an estimated £200million being set aside for payouts.
Lawyers fear the complex process could lead to many missing out as they will not be able to show how the devastating scandal has impacted their lives.
A scathing report by Wendy Williams, the independent reviewer of the scandal, accused the Home Office of institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness over race.
The Windrush scandal erupted in 2018 after Caribbean nationals granted the right to stay in the UK who had been here for years, were deported or lost access to public services under an immigration clampdown.
More than 160 people were mistakenly detained or removed from the country, and sent back to countries they had left as children decades earlier.
The Home Office said a further £280,000 of compensation had been offered to claimants, but not yet paid, possibly because applicants felt the offer did not reflect the extent of their difficulties. By the end of March, 1,275 people had applied for compensation. Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon said of the low amount: “Failure again by the Home Office. We need the compensation scheme managed by another agency.” Lawyer Jacqueline McKenzie, of the Centre for Migration Advice and Research, said: “This is disappointing but not surprising. Claims require an enormous amount of work backed by evidence. “One woman wrongly made to leave the UK and brought back by the Government is still waiting for an offer two years on and after several letters requiring yet more evidence.”
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said: “The Prime Minister needs to make a full apology to those who continue to be treated so shabbily.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The Windrush compensation scheme has been developed to ease the burden from the unacceptable mistreatment some have faced, which is why it is so important people come forward.”
Burden...Home Secretary Priti Patel