The Government deeply regret what has happened to some members of the Windrush generation and when I became Home Secretary I made clear that responding to this was a priority. The compensation scheme I launched in April is a key part of this response.
The compensation scheme has been open to receive claims since April 2019 and the Home Office is now in a position to start making payments.
Specific legislation to give direct financial authority for payments made under the scheme will be brought forward to Parliament when parliamentary time allows. In the meantime, it is lawful for the Home Office to make payments for compensation scheme claims, without specific legislative authority for this new expenditure. As Home Secretary I am able to consider other factors, including the sound policy objectives behind the scheme and the importance of righting the wrongs suffered by the Windrush generation.
I have therefore written to the permanent secretary today formally directing him, as accounting officer for the Home Office, to implement the compensation scheme for the Windrush generation and to ensure that compensation payments can be made pending the passage of the legislation. The exchange of letters relating to this direction can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/correspondence-on-the-work-of-the-home-office-windrush. This direction has been issued on the basis of regularity.
I am committed to providing members of the Windrush generation with assurance that they will be appropriately and promptly compensated where it is shown that they have been disadvantaged by historical Government policy. A direction to proceed is therefore optimal to ensure the Government are acting in the best interests of affected members of the Windrush generation.