Expenditure on the Windrush Compensation Scheme

Part of Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:39 pm on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means 5:39 pm, 24th March 2020

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Amendment 4, page 1, line 7, after “persons” insert

“from not only Caribbean but also from other Commonwealth countries who arrived in the United Kingdom before 1 January 1973 and persons who have a right of abode or settled status (or who are now British citizens) and who arrived to live in the UK before 31 December 1988,”

This amendment clarifies that the Windrush Compensation Scheme is not literally limited to men and women who originally came to the UK from the Caribbean Commonwealth.

Amendment 2, page 1, line 9, at end, insert—

“(3) Subject to subsection (4), modifications that must be made to the scheme before subsection (1) comes into force are set out in sections [Responsibility for the operation of the Compensation Scheme], [Consultation on simplifying the application process], [Time limit], [Public consultation on limits, tariffs and caps], [Legal assistance], [Restrictions] and [Standard of proof], and [Appeal to the First Tier Tribunal].

(4) Subsection (3) does not prevent payment of interim awards under the Windrush Compensation Scheme.”

This a paving amendment which requires modifications to the Windrush Compensation Scheme before final payments can be funded by money provided by Parliament.

Amendment 5, page 1, line 9, at end insert

“, taking into account the impact of those difficulties on the family life of those persons”.

This amendment would require the scheme to take account of the impact on the family life of people who encountered difficulties in demonstrating their lawful immigration status.

Clause stand part.

Clause 2 stand part.

New clause 1—Responsibility for the operation of the Windrush Compensation Scheme—

“Within two months of the date on which this Act is passed, the Secretary of State must arrange for operation of the Windrush Compensation Scheme to be the responsibility of an institution other than the Home Office.”

This new clause requires the Secretary of State to move the operation of the Windrush Compensation Scheme to an institution other than the Home Office.

New clause 2—Consultation on simplifying the application process—

The Secretary of State must launch a public consultation on the applicants’ experience of the application process under the Windrush Compensation Scheme.”

This new clause requires the Secretary of State to launch a public consultation on the applicants’ experience of the application process.

New clause 3—Time Limit

“No time limit applies to when applications for compensation under the Windrush Compensation Scheme must be received.”

This new clause would ensure that no time limit can be imposed on when applications should be received.

New clause 4—Public consultation on limits, tariffs and caps—

“The Secretary of State must launch a public consultation on the limits, tariffs and caps in the Windrush Compensation Scheme.”

This new clause would require a public consultation on the limits, tariffs and caps in the scheme.

New clause 5—Legal assistance—

“The Windrush Compensation Scheme must make provision for the reimbursement to applicants under the scheme of their reasonable costs of legal assistance in making applications for compensation under the Scheme.”

This new clause would allow applicants to recover their legal costs in applying to the scheme.

New clause 6—Restrictions—

“(1) Compensation under the Windrush Compensation Scheme may not be denied to any individual on the basis that they have a criminal record.

(2) Awards of compensation under the Windrush Compensation Scheme may not be reduced on grounds that the individual failed to contact the Home Office at an earlier stage.”

This new clause would modify the restrictions on the payment of compensation under the scheme.

New clause 7—Standard of proof—

“No requirement may be made of applicants for a level of proof beyond the balance of probabilities for claims under the Windrush Compensation Scheme, including any claims relating to—

(a) loss of earnings

(b) reimbursement of private medical fees,

(c) reimbursement of international student fees, and

(d) loss of access to banking.”

This new clause would apply a civil standard of proof to claims for compensation under the scheme.

New clause 8—Appeal to the First Tier Tribunal—

“(1) The Secretary of State must make provision by way of regulations for claimants to have a right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal against any determination issued under the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

(2) An appeal under subsection (1) must be brought on the grounds that the determination was not in accordance with the Windrush Compensation Scheme.”

This new clause would allow claimants to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal against determinations made under the scheme.