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‘They’re ready for us to die off’: Windrush scandal sufferer requires overhaul of compensation scheme as many nonetheless await payouts 5 years on

‘They’re ready for us to die off’: Windrush scandal sufferer requires overhaul of compensation scheme as many nonetheless await payouts 5 years on


The Authorities has been accused of ready for Windrush scandal victims to ‘die off’ amid contemporary anger concerning the supply of compensation payouts. 

Campaigners have branded the compensation scheme for victims a ‘failure’ and demanded an overhaul of the dealing with of payouts.

This contains the Residence Workplace being stripped of accountability for overseeing the scheme and for it to be handed to an impartial physique.

The Windrush scandal noticed many British residents – largely from the Caribbean – denied entry to healthcare and advantages and threatened with deportation regardless of having the precise to reside within the UK.

A compensation scheme has been in place since 3 April 2019 however, practically 5 years on, there are rising issues concerning the variety of folks dying earlier than receiving payouts.

Conroy Downie, a 67-year-old Windrush victim who has been advising thousands of others on how to make compensation claims, is still waiting for his case to be fully settled

Conroy Downie, a 67-year-old Windrush sufferer who has been advising 1000’s of others on easy methods to make compensation claims, remains to be ready for his case to be absolutely settled

Campaigners have branded the compensation scheme for victims a 'failure' and demanded the Home Office be stripped of responsibility

Campaigners have branded the compensation scheme for victims a 'failure' and demanded the Home Office be stripped of responsibility

Campaigners have branded the compensation scheme for victims a ‘failure’ and demanded the Residence Workplace be stripped of accountability

The British liner 'Empire Windrush' (pictured in 1954) that gave its name to the 'Windrush' generation

The British liner 'Empire Windrush' (pictured in 1954) that gave its name to the 'Windrush' generation

The British liner ‘Empire Windrush’ (pictured in 1954) that gave its identify to the ‘Windrush’ era

Conroy Downie, a 67-year-old Windrush sufferer who has been advising 1000’s of others on easy methods to make compensation claims, remains to be ready for his case to be absolutely settled.

‘It is a failure, it is disgusting. I feel they’re ready for us to die off,’ he advised the PA information company.

The nice-grandfather, who was born in Jamaica and got here to the UK as a young person earlier than becoming a member of the Military, twice wrongly confronted deportation amid the scandal.

He mentioned ‘the system has failed us’ as he described how one of many primary issues was that folks nonetheless ‘do not belief the Residence Workplace’.

‘They should take the compensation scheme off the Residence Workplace and provides it to an impartial physique,’ he added.

Immigration and human rights lawyer Jacqueline McKenzie, who has labored with greater than 400 Windrush victims, mentioned: ‘Just like the Submit Workplace Horizon scandal, it’s deplorable that the scheme is managed by the perpetrators of the unsuitable.’

The companion and head of immigration and asylum regulation on the agency Leigh Day mentioned the Residence Workplace ‘should velocity up the choice making’ and work with attorneys and campaigners to result in reform.

Whereas there have been ‘some enhancements’ through the years, ‘we’re nonetheless some option to go to say the scheme is working in an environment friendly approach’, she added.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, mentioned whereas the most recent figures present ‘modest enhancements’ within the efficiency of the scheme, ‘many individuals are nonetheless ready far too lengthy for the redress they’re due – over a 12 months and even 18 months within the worst circumstances’.

She added: ‘That is unacceptable, particularly provided that for most of the older candidates time will not be on their aspect.’

Repeating calls to ‘shift the scheme’s administration to an impartial physique, so claimants have the boldness to use’ and for a ‘redesign’ so it gives ‘honest recompense’ for lack of future earnings and pensions earnings, Ms Abrahams mentioned: ‘The Windrush compensation scheme will be made fairer and simpler to entry if the political will is there in Authorities.

‘It is excessive time everybody affected acquired the justice they’re due earlier than it is too late and extra folks go to their graves uncompensated for the large hurt they and their households have skilled by the years.’

Based on an evaluation of the most recent out there Residence Workplace figures, 7,862 claims have been made as of January 2024.

A complete of £80.1million had been paid out by the tip of the primary month of this 12 months for two,233 claims – a mean of practically £35,900 per declare.

Some 4,847 claims had been absolutely closed by this time, of which simply over half (52 per cemt) had been discovered to haven’t any entitlement to compensation, 36 per cent had been provided compensation, and the remaining 12 per cent had their eligibility for a declare refused or withdrawn.

Of the 1,345 claims nonetheless being processed, 185 (14 per cent) had been within the system for at the least 12 months, together with 83 for greater than 18 months.

It is a slight enchancment on a 12 months in the past; on the finish of January 2023, 19 per cent of claims (416 out of two,192) had been within the system for a 12 months or extra, with 171 for greater than 18 months.

The 12 month-plus proportion has crept upwards in latest months, nonetheless, having dipped as little as 12 per cent in October 2023. It peaked at 38 per cent in June 2022.

In the meantime simply over a 3rd (35 per cent) of claims in January 2024 had been within the system for one to 3 months, down from 39 per cent a 12 months earlier, however up from 18 per cent two years in the past in January 2022.

The variety of claims acquired by case employees has been on a downward pattern in latest months.

The typical was 174 monthly within the three months to January 2024, down from 204 within the earlier three months and properly under the 286 monthly within the equal three months a 12 months earlier (November 2022 to January 2023).

The Residence Workplace insisted the Authorities ‘stays completely dedicated to righting the wrongs of the Windrush scandal’ and has continued to enhance the method so folks ‘obtain the utmost award as rapidly as potential’.

‘We firmly imagine transferring the operation of the scheme away from the Residence Workplace would danger considerably delaying very important funds to folks – there can be appreciable disruption to the processing of excellent claims while a brand new physique was established and made operational,’ a spokeswoman added.



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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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