• Kia Fullerton

Windrush scandal: Only 60 people have received compensation

It has been revealed only 60 people have received compensation under the Windrush Compensation Scheme so far, government figures show.

A total of £360,000 has been paid out in compensation via the fund during the first year. It is believed the scheme, which is uncapped, has the potential to pay out hundreds of millions.

One payment at a value of £100,000 has been made to one claimant.

The Home Office has also made payments of approximately £280,000. They stated that many of the payments made are interim payments, meaning claimants are likely to receive higher amounts of compensation in future.

Home secretary Priti Patel said: "By listening to feedback from community leaders and those affected, we have begun to put right the wrongs caused to a generation who have contributed so much to our country.

"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 that people continue to come forward."

Although 1,725 people have sought claims to date, more than 12,000 people have been issued documentation confirming their immigration status.

As part of the Home Office’s plan to encourage more people to come forward and claim, the Commonwealth Citizens’ Taskforce and the Windrush Compensation Scheme are running a series of digital engagement events.

The Home Office’s Windrush Compensation Scheme update, has been met with criticisms from opposition MPs, despite the department’s claims it is “making good progress”.

Former shadow home secretary Dianne Abbott tweeted: "Government ministers shed crocodile tears about #Windrush scandal. But the pathetically small number of people who have got any compensation, tells you how much they really cared."

The Windrush scandal involved British citizens born in the Caribbean to be deported, detained, no access to public funds and refused the right to work in the UK. As they could not prove their immigration status, despite those arriving before 1973 being granted indefinite leave to remain.

The compensation scheme is applicable to anyone born in a Commonwealth country who arrived and settled in the UK before 1973, and their close family members, who has been wrongly identified as not having the legal right to work and remain in the UK.

The scheme, originally launched in April 2019, was due to close next year. However, the closing date has been extended to April 2023.

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