Bigger payouts promised in pledges to improve Windrush compensation scheme

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Victims of the Windrush scandal have been promised bigger payouts, quicker, after complaints over difficulties in claiming compensation.

Home Secretary Priti Patel promised a major overhaul of the system after saying she had listened to concerns.

Ms Patel told the Commons on Monday: “Today I am announcing substantial changes to the compensation scheme so those eligible will receive more compensation, and more quickly.”

Minimum payments will be rise from £250 to £10,000 while the maximum payout will increase from £10,000 to £100,000.

Higher awards will be available for those in exceptional circumstances.

The changes will apply retrospectively and will make a “real difference” to people’s lives, Ms Patel said, adding: “I’ve always promised to listen and act to ensure the victims of Windrush have received the maximum compensation they deserve and it is my mission to correct the wrongs of the past and I will continue to work with the Windrush working group to do exactly that.”

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.

The compensation scheme for victims has so far paid out more than £2 million and offered £1 million more, but Ms Patel said more must be done to repair the damage and there are still concerns too few people are coming forward.