Breaking; British Government announces £200m in compensation for Windrush victims - eritvnews

Breaking; British Government announces £200m in compensation for Windrush victims

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People whose lives were plunged into uncertainty and in some cases, severe hardship, by the Wind rush scandal will be able to apply for compensation, the Government announced today. 

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the £200m Wind rush Compensation Scheme would "go some way in righting the wrongs of the past and help deliver justice to the Windrush generation and their families". 
Windrush is the name given to generations of people from around the Commonwealth who were invited to live and work in Britain in order to help fill up a labour shortage after World War Two.
The compensation scheme will provide payments to eligible people who did not have the right documentation to prove their status in the UK and suffered adverse effects on their life as a result. 
Many of those affected had been long-term residents in Britain when they suddenly found themselves classified as illegal immigrants.  A number of them lost their jobs or access to housing, education and the free healthcare they were entitled to on the NHS, while others were deported or barred from re-entering the country.
Announcing the scheme, the Government acknowledged these measures had led to "emotional distress or a deterioration in mental and physical health" for those affected.
"When I became Home Secretary I vowed to right the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation. We've been working tirelessly to fulfill that promise ever since and have helped more than 3,600 people secure the citizenship they were entitled to," said Mr Javid.
"But it's right that we compensate those who faced extreme difficulties and hardship – and this scheme will go some way in doing that.
"The Wind rush generation have given so much to this country and we will ensure nothing like this ever happens again." 
Responding to the compensation scheme, Dr Joe Aldred, who oversees Pentecostal and multicultural relations at Churches Together in England, said he welcomed the measure but added that it was a "pity" it had taken so long to set up. 
"People who were in difficulty when this scandal broke in 2018 continue to be in difficulty now and one can only hope that the scheme will be reasonably simple to navigate so that it doesn't then lead to a prolonged wait for those entitled to receive it," he said. 
Dr Aldred said the Government's actions had made life "very difficult and uncertain for so many people" and that the Home Office should never have required documentation from the Windrush generation without first implementing measures that would have made it easy for them to do so. 
"To bring in a system like this when there is this hostile environment for illegal immigrants, whereby people have to prove they have a right to be here, and when it was known that there would be people who would quite likely fall foul of this system, was wrong," he said. 
"I think for a country with a Christian history, it is a very unchristian way to behave.  Of course there will be some who do not have a right to be here who are here, but using hostility as a tool, especially against those who are seeking help, is a very unchristian thing to do."
He also encouraged all people to make sure they had the necessary paperwork to avoid being caught out in the future.
"I don't buy readily into the promise that this will never happen again," he said. 
"For this kind of thing not to happen again, it will take more than wishing well and it isn't only the Government that will need to make sure it doesn't happen again. 

"I encourage citizens, particularly if you have a diaspora background, to take very measure to ensure you have the required documentation and paperwork so that - to use a use a biblical metaphor - should another pharaoh rise up who does not know Joseph you will not be exposed to the whims of the pharaoh of the day." 


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