The Home Secretary, and Bishop Derek Webley, have penned an joint op-ed on increases to the payments available through the Windrush Compensation Scheme, which featured in today's Times.
The Windrush generation helped build the Britain we know and love today. Through their courage and faith, they and their descendants have made — and continue to make — a huge contribution.
But, some of them suffered terrible treatment and were let down by successive governments.
The effect of the injustices was, in many cases, life changing, and we do not take that lightly. We are continuing to do everything in our power to right the wrongs they suffered.
It is important to note that it was not only people from the Caribbean who were affected, and that most of the Windrush generation were able to regularise their status when needed.
As of August 2020, 13,300 documents had been provided to over 11,500 individuals, confirming their status or citizenship.
The Windrush Compensation Scheme is an important part of our efforts to support that generation. It has paid out over £2 million and offered £1 million more.
But we have listened to voices across the country, who have told us about the challenges they have experienced with the process.
We recognise that it is crucial that we go further and faster to help those who need it.
Together, we have always said that we will listen and act to ensure that those who suffered get the maximum compensation they deserve.
And today we are fulfilling that promise by overhauling the scheme to speed up and increase payments.
The Home Office and the Windrush cross-government working group have introduced a new early preliminary payment of £10,000.
Payments will be fast-tracked, for those eligible. We are also raising the minimum payment to £10,000 — 40 times that which is currently available.
And we will increase the maximum payment someone can receive. Raising the bar from £10,000 to £100,000, with options for higher awards in exceptional cases.
We want these changes to make a real difference to people’s lives, and urge everyone who may have been affected to apply.
While nothing can undo the suffering that some members of the generation and their descendants endured, we hope these changes will go some way to ease their lives, and enable them to move forward with hope and determination.
It is a tragedy that people who gave so much to Britain were ever made to feel like this country was not their home. But we are resolute that this can never happen again.
We are determined to ensure those who were so badly let down get every possible support and fair compensation.
That is the least that they deserve. Bishop Derek Webley and the home secretary Priti Patel are co-chairs of the Windrush cross-government working group.