LRMN's response to the Government's Windrush Compensation Scheme

Read our response to the recent announcement by the Government of a compesation scheme for Windrush victims.

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The Government has recently announced the launch of a £200million ‘Windrush Compensation Scheme’ for victims of the Windrush scandal. The scheme is supposed to offer a financial compensation to people who are part of the ‘Windrush generation’ and those who have been wrongly targeted by immigration enforcement.

Official government guidance states that “The scope of the Windrush Compensation Scheme is not limited to men and women who originally came to the UK from the Caribbean Commonwealth. Almost everyone originally from a Commonwealth country who arrived before 1 January 1973 is included”. The guidance continues to clarify other ‘categories of people’ who may be eligible. However a number of caveats and exemptions exist which will prevent some from being eligible for the compensation.

The 45 pages long document on the ‘compensation rules’ provides a long list of criteria which will determine whether someone can or cannot claim compensation as well as a list of ‘conditions of payment’. The guidance document does not give any indication as to the overall cap, no indication is given as to the maximum amount each claimant can receive. In addition no information is given on how the independent appeals procedure will look like or who will be in charge of it.

We are also concerned about the lack of indicated timeline for the scheme. Having taken almost a year for this scheme to be announced after the story first broke, people are still unsure about the length of time they will need to wait to receive compensation. Data protection is another concern, as little information is given on how will data of claimants be used, stored and shared.

Although we welcome the move by the government to provide compensation to those who have been affected, we encourage the Government to provide better information and guidance to people and advice centres to ensure those who have suffered the most stand a real chance of being appropriately compensated.

We believe that £200m will not cover the hardship, suffering and pain people have gone through. The Windrush scandal has highlighted a deeply entrenched pattern of discrimination by the Government which has left thousand with insecure status, homeless, without the right to employment and in some cases has led to people being exploited.

We call on the Government to scrap its compliant environment policies are learn from the Windrush scandal to ensure no other generation will bear the consequences of their actions.

Alessandra Sciarra