Victims of the Windrush scandal are being failed “all over again” by the Home Office, as only 17 per cent of applicants have received their full compensation, MPs have found.
A report on Tuesday by the Public Accounts committee found that the government’s scheme used to provide compensation to individuals and families who were wrongly classified as illegal immigrants still had “fundamental problems”.
The government’s spending watchdog found that two years after the scheme launched, only 412 of the 2,367 claims submitted have received their final payment.
It added that “despite the Home Office’s ‘promise to learn lessons’ it is failing the Windrush generation all over again”.
The report also found that the department had only managed to pay four out of the 132 families seeking compensation on behalf of someone who has died.
Dame Meg Hillier MP, chairman of the Public Accounts committee, said: “Let’s not lose sight of the scale of wrongs that the Home Office has promised to right here.
“Lifetimes in this country were discounted, people’s homes, families and livelihoods were interrupted and uprooted, some were forced from the country.
“Some were approaching the end of those lifetimes as this tragedy befell them. Some have died without ever seeing justice or receiving the compensation they deserve.
“Far from learning and applying lessons as promised, the Windrush compensation scheme is beset with the very same issues that led to the initial terrible mistakes.”
The problems with the Home Office which were identified by the committee included that at the creation of the scheme, there were only six staff working on the compensation programme, compared to the 125 that it required.
Case workers also took five times as long as the 30 hours that they thought was needed to process a case.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Home Secretary has been resolute in her determination to put right the wrongs suffered by all those affected by the Windrush scandal.
“Many of the issues raised in this report are already being addressed. Last week we announced further improvements to simplify the application process, new support measures for those claiming on behalf of relatives who have passed away and the removal of the scheme’s end date.
“All designed to ensure every victim receives the compensation they deserve.
“And since December, when the Home Secretary overhauled the scheme, the amount of compensation paid has risen from less than £3 million to almost £27 million, whilst a further £7.1 million has been offered.”