Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

UK to pay up to £200m in compensation to Windrush victims

Home Secretary Sajid Javid apologised to victims and said he hoped the scheme would “right the wrongs”

The Windrush generation are people who arrived in the UK after the second world war from Caribbean countries at the invitation of the British government. It is now thought that an estimated 50,000 people of the Windrush generation face the risk of deportation if they never formalised their residency status and do not have the required documentation to prove it. Getty Images
The Windrush generation are people who arrived in the UK after the second world war from Caribbean countries at the invitation of the British government. It is now thought that an estimated 50,000 people of the Windrush generation face the risk of deportation if they never formalised their residency status and do not have the required documentation to prove it. Getty Images

British home secretary Sajid Javid has announced that the government will pay up to £200 million (Dh968m) in compensation to victims of the Windrush scandal.

It emerged last year British citizens, many of whom came to the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971, were wrongly detained, denied legal advice and threatened with deportation.

And in at least 83 cases, they were wrongfully deported by the Home Office.

It is now thought that about 50,000 people of the Windrush generation face the risk of deportation if they never formalised their residency status and did not have the documentation to prove it.

Mr Javid apologised to the victims for the scandal, which he said “never should of happened”, and said he hoped that the compensation scheme would “right the wrongs” to them and their families.

He said there would be no cap on how much compensation someone could receive under the scheme, but many categories had set payments.

A 45-page document detailing the scheme stated that those wrongly deported are entitled to £10,000 in compensation.

Those who were wrongfully detained will be offered £500 an hour and those denied access to free NHS health care and education could receive £500 in compensation.

“Today’s scheme is the product of many months of work with affected individuals and their representatives, including well over 2,000 responses to our call for evidence and the consultation,” Mr Javid said.

He said he was confident that the proposals for the scheme were closely aligned with what affected communities wanted to see.

Mr Javid said information about the scheme was now available online and through a free phone hotline number.

The compensation scheme is not confined to those of Caribbean origin and is available to citizens who arrived before 1989, he said.

On June 22 the government will be marking the second annual Windrush Day, a celebration of contributions that the Windrush generation and their descendants have made in the UK.

Mr Javid said he would welcome community group leaders to Parliament, alongside those who had suffered and their families.

“It will be an opportunity to reflect not only on the mistakes of successive governments to this point but also on what we as a country can do to ensure that mistakes like this are not repeated,” he said.

In 1948, when the UK was recovering from the damage caused by the Second World War, the country put out an advertisement to Commonwealth nations, mainly in the Caribbean, to help rebuild houses.

Hundreds of people who saw the advert and who fought for Britain in the war went to the UK to help rebuild the infrastructure.

They were brought over on the Empire Windrush ship and anchored at Tilbury Docks, Essex on June 21, 1948.

Updated: April 4, 2019 04:32 AM

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