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PRITI PATEL insisted today that the Windrush compensation scheme has “fundamentally changed” since December — despite recent analysis finding huge failings.
The Home Secretary told the Commons today that changes to the scheme mean that victims of the scandal are receiving “more money, more quickly.”
However, the Home Office was accused last month of a shameful failure of the victims of the Windrush scandal, after National Audit Office analysis found that only a fraction of those who applied had received payments.
Though the scheme started in 2019, it found that by the end of March this year only 633 compensation payments had been made to victims out of more than 2,000 claims submitted.
The office found that victims have been waiting for on average of about six months to receive a decision on their compensation.
The scheme was opened to “right the wrongs” done to people of the Windrush generation who fell victim to the Tories’ “hostile environment” policies.
But the compensation scheme has been mired in delays, with victims complaining that it asks for too much proof and documentation in order to receive payments.
Ms Patel told MPs today that the Home Office has now offered almost £30 million in compensation, of which £20.4m has been paid to 687 claimants.
Facing questions from the public accounts committee, Home Office minister and deputy director of the compensation scheme Tom Greig said: “I’m aware that some people applying think the scheme asks for too much information, and we are currently reviewing [it] to ensure we’re getting that balance right.”
He added that the Home Office has started to publicise the scheme among non-Caribbean communities also affected.
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