Windrush compensation issues are a “damning indictment” of the Home Office, according to MPs.
MPs have called for PRITI PATEL’s Home Office to be stripped of responsibility for the Windrush compensation scheme, citing a “litany of flaws” in the way it operates.
To increase trust and encourage more applications, the cross-party Commons Home Affairs Committee recommended that the scheme be transferred to an independent body.
The MPs claimed that the scheme’s design included the same “bureaucratic insensitivities” that led to the Windrush scandal in the first place, calling it a “damning indictment of the Home Office.”
The scheme was created to compensate members of the Windrush generation who were incorrectly denied legal immigration status due to Home Office policies.
However, the MPs discovered that only 20.1 percent of the estimated 15,000 eligible claimants had applied, only 5.8 percent had received any payment, and 23 people had died without receiving compensation as of the end of September.
“The treatment of the Windrush generation by successive governments and the Home Office was truly shameful,” the committee said.
“No amount of money could ever compensate for the fear, humiliation, and pain that was inflicted on both individuals and communities.”
The Home Office’s handling of claims “has repeated the same mistakes that led to the Windrush scandal in the first place,” he said, adding that it was “deeply troubling.”
Claimants face a “daunting application process,” “irrational requests for evidence,” and are “left in limbo amid inordinate delays,” according to the committee’s findings.
“Too often, injustice has been compounded rather than compensated,” the members of Parliament said.
“This is inexcusable and must not be allowed to continue.”
Changes introduced in December 2020 to improve the system were welcomed by MPs, but they felt the reforms did not go far enough.
“It’s been four years since the Windrush scandal broke, and it’s truly shocking how few people have received any compensation for the hardship they suffered at the hands of the Home Office,” said Yvette Cooper, the committee’s Labour chairwoman.
“It’s especially upsetting that 23 people have died without being compensated.”
“Immediate action is required to obtain compensation for those who have been severely harmed.”
“Given the failures of the Windrush scandal, it is staggering that the Home Office has allowed some of the same problems to affect the Windrush Compensation Scheme as well,” she said.
“The Home Secretary and the department remain steadfast in,” a spokesperson for the Home Office said.
“Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”