Windrush Compensation Scheme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:18 pm on 9th April 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 1:18 pm, 9th April 2019

I thank the right hon. Lady for her comments, but given that the rules and guidance were published on the same day as the Home Secretary made the statement, it is somewhat unfair to suggest any attempt to conceal the scheme. Far from it: we have sought to publicise the scheme and to reach out to posts across the world with a selection of communication tools, and we invited high commissioners into the Home Office last Thursday to emphasise the scheme to them.

I will comment briefly on the published Home Office ex gratia scheme that was already in place and to which the Home Office and Martin Forde referred when considering this scheme. The ex gratia scheme provides a maximum £1,000 for someone who has been wrongfully deported. In arriving at the £10,000 figure for deportation, the Government considered that alongside the case law evidence of courts awarding a range of damages subject to individual case details. We regarded £10,000 as a more appropriate figure than the £1,000 in the existing scheme, which has been in place for many years.

The right hon. Lady mentioned the scheme of review. We have put in place a two-tier review: first, an internal review, whereby someone who is not content with the original decision can have it referred to a senior caseworker who was not involved in the original decision; and, secondly, independent of the Home Office, another tier of review will be considered by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs independent adjudicator.

With regard to caps on payments, this scheme is both tariff and actuals-based. The right hon. Lady raised the issue of those who might have been denied NHS care, where the tariff scheme involves an award of £500. However, if an individual incurred private healthcare costs, the actuals will of course be repaid. The Home Office is determined to work with its own information and with data held by other Departments and indeed by individuals more widely, so that we help claimants to establish their actual level of loss, where that is the most appropriate route.