Windrush Compensation to Be Increased and Accelerated
The UK government will issue thousands of pounds in increased compensation to the victims of the deportation scandal.
Home Secretary Priti Patel will announce a radical overhaul of the Windrush compensation scheme to make the payments more generous and swifter, in the face of criticism from victims over delayed and unreasonably low offers.
When the anticipated changes to the scheme go into effect, the minimum payment issued to victims will be raised from £250 to £10,000, while the maximum payment will be increased from £10,000 to £100,000 – with the possibility of higher awards being issued in exceptional circumstances.
The newly increased awards will be fast-tracked and paid out as soon as claimants have demonstrated that they suffered as a result of the Windrush scandal. Any victim who has already received an offer of payment under the compensation scheme will have their case reviewed.
The Windrush scandal, which came to light in April 2018, saw thousands of people legally living in the UK (mostly of Caribbean origin) wrongly detained, deported or threatened with deportation. Some were deported to countries they had left as children decades previously, and many more were wrongfully denied access to pensions, benefits and the NHS, or were forced out of their homes and jobs.
Patel described the scandal as a “tragedy” that could not be allowed to occur again. “The Windrush generation built their lives and their homes in Britain and I have always said that I will listen and act to ensure they get the compensation they deserve,” she said.
The Windrush compensation scheme has thus far paid more than £2 million to victims and offered £1 million more. The BBC’s Westminster Hour reported in November that at least nine people had died while awaiting payments.