Windrush: Around 17% of victims who claimed compensation have received payouts

Around 17% of Windrush victims who have made compensation claims have received payouts, according to official Home Office figures.

A total of 1,761 claims were lodged by the end of December 2020, with 303 people receiving compensation totalling £2,869,068.16.

Eighty-four of the claims were for people who had already died, but only three payments for this particular kind of case have been recorded.

There have been appeals lodged against the decisions in more than 180 instances, while a further 144 eligible people were told they were not entitled to a payout because they could not demonstrate they had been adversely affected.

A total of 101 claims were rejected on eligibility grounds, the figures show.

The government has promised victims of the scandal that they will be able to access bigger and quicker payouts, after those affected reported difficulties in claiming compensation and criticised the system for its complicated and onerous nature.

Home secretary Priti Patel vowed to see through a major overhaul of the system in light of the concerns raised.

Minimum payments will go up for the current level of £250 to £10,000, with the maximum payout upped from £10,000 to £100,000.

Higher compensation awards will be available in exceptional circumstances.

The home secretary said the changes will apply retrospectively and will make a “real difference” to those affected.

“I’ve always promised to listen and act to ensure the victims of Windrush have received the maximum compensation they deserve, and it is my mission to correct the wrongs of the past and I will continue to work with the Windrush working group to do exactly that,” she said.

The Windrush scandal emerged in 2018 when it was found that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens had been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights, despite having the right to live in Britain.

Under the hostile environment legislation, announced in 2012 under then home secretary Theresa May, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government aimed to push out undocumented migrants.

But many of the Windrush generation, who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1973, had arrived as children on their parents’ passports and the Home Office had destroyed thousands of landing cards and other documents.

As a result, many legal migrants struggled to prove they had the right to live in the UK under the new legislation, with some losing access to housing, healthcare and bank accounts.

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