Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to announce a major overhaul of compensation for victims of the Windrush scandal, with payments to be increased and delivered more swiftly.
Writing in The Times, Ms Patel and Bishop Derek Webley – co-chairs of the Windrush cross-government working group – said that, having listened to complaints about the scheme across the country, they recognise it is “crucial that we go further and faster to help those who need it”.
Under the changes, the minimum payment for victims will be raised from £250 to £10,000, while the maximum payment will rise from £10,000 to £100,000, with options for higher awards in exceptional circumstances.
The Windrush scandal erupted in 2018 when British citizens, mostly from the Caribbean, were wrongly detained, deported or threatened with deportation despite having the right to live in Britain. Many lost homes and jobs and were denied access to healthcare and benefits.
Ms Patel, set to announce the changes on Monday, described the scandal as a tragedy and said it “can never happen again”.
The compensation scheme has so far paid out more than £2 million and offered £1 million more, but the Home Secretary said more must be done to repair the damage.
“We want these changes to make a real difference to people’s lives, and urge everyone who may have been affected to apply,” Ms Patel and Bishop Webley wrote.
“While nothing can undo the suffering that some members of the generation and their descendants endured, we hope these changes will go some way to ease their lives, and enable them to move forward with hope and determination.
“We are determined to ensure those who were so badly let down get every possible support and fair compensation.”