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Expenditure on the Windrush Compensation Scheme

Part of Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 6:15 pm, 24th March 2020

I very much understand the shadow Home Secretary’s point. Windrush is the name we have for the generation. It is the name that has been in the press. It is the name that the media know, and the name that many of the public would identify with—even though it is a ship that the vast majority of people in the Windrush generation would never have seen, yet alone sailed upon. It has become common parlance. I agree that we need to get the message out there that, although it is called the Windrush compensation scheme, it is not just about those who came from the Caribbean; it is wider. It is for Commonwealth citizens who settled or had the right of abode in the UK before 1 January 1973, plus any person of any nationality who arrived in the UK before 31 December 1988 and is lawfully in the UK or is now a British citizen, and estates of the deceased and others. We intend to continue to promote the scheme and to make sure that more people come forward.

I move on to amendment 5, which seeks to ensure that the impact on family life of people who have difficulties in demonstrating their lawful status is taken into account. There is the ability to award compensation for impact on life, which is awarded on a series of levels, with payments ranging from £250 up to £10,000, where the effect on the claimant was profound and likely to be irreversible.

I hope I have been able to reassure the hon. and right hon. Members who have tabled some well-intended and well-thought-through amendments. I hope they will understand why it would be appropriate to withdraw the amendments.