|Mon 10th February 2020||
Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill
2nd reading: House of Commons
Money resolution: House of Commons
Programme motion: House of Commons
|7 interactions (2,382 words)|
Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill DebateFull Debate: Read Full Debate
Stuart C McDonaldMain Page: Stuart C McDonald (Scottish National Party) - Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
Department Debates - View all Stuart C McDonald's debates with the Home Office
Legislation Debates - View all Stuart C McDonald's contributions to the Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Act 2020
(7 months, 1 week ago)Commons Chamber
The hon. Lady has been heard on the Government Front Bench, so I am grateful that I gave way, but I am not going to focus my remarks on this issue because we are talking about the Windrush compensation scheme.
I conclude by reminding everyone, including the Government, that the people who have been affected are not pushy and entitled people. Overwhelmingly, in my experience, they are some of the gentlest, kindest, and above all most humble people in our society, who in many cases have been mistreated over the course of decades, often casually and shamefully. In such circumstances, it is incumbent on everyone involved in the administration of this scheme to be scrupulously respectful, to make payments as swiftly as possible, and, frankly—within the bounds of the scheme—to ensure that the payments made are maximised, in compensation for the real injustice that has been suffered.
In 2018, the Government appointed Martin Forde, QC, to independently advise them on the compensation scheme, and the Government have also committed to having an independent adviser to oversee its delivery. Is the hon. Gentleman challenging the views of the independent expert who has made the recommendations, which the Government have largely followed?
My hon. Friend has laid out issues with the scheme as it stands and improvements that could be made. There are still ongoing cases with the Home Office where people such as highly skilled migrants have lost huge sums of money, had to fight in the courts to get their status proven and had decisions overturned in their favour. Does he agree that there needs to be a further look at compensation schemes where the Home Office has clearly got it wrong?
It is a pleasure to speak in this important debate. There is no doubt that the Windrush scandal is a stain on the history of our country. It should never have taken place, but it should also transcend party politics, because it came about due to a series of administrative failings under a succession of Governments. As my hon. Friend the Member for North Dorset (Simon Hoare) said, it was the result of cock-up, not conspiracy. It was the result of unintended consequences because of the trail of successive decisions and actions of many Governments over many decades. None the less, it needs to be put right, and I welcome the Bill as just one step in ensuring that we put right as much as we are able to the wrongs that were done to the people who suffered.