Bonuses given for deporting Windrush cases 'shocking but not surprising', says author of 'Bloody Foreigners'

Bonuses given for deporting Windrush cases 'shocking but not surprising', says author of 'Bloody Foreigners

Members of the Windrush generation pictured in May. Image: Getty

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The private company Capita, which handled the Windrush cases, had a Home Office contract that paid extra money if more people were removed from Britain, according to newly released documents.

The information, sent to a parliamentary committee investigating the Windrush scandal, shows that the Home Office’s contract with Capita gave the company a bonus payment of 2.5% on top of the normal fee above a certain target for removals from the UK, rising to 12.5% if the total exceeded the target by 10%.

This information is from documents released by the cross-party joint committee on human rights (JCHR), chaired by Labour MP Harriet Harman.

The committee previously condemned the Home Office in June after the same company Capita sent two Windrush citizens, who had lived in the UK for about 50 years, to immigration detention centres before planned removals.

 

'It's shocking but it's not surprising' 

Robert Winder, the author of “Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain”, has said that with these incentivising contracts “you are inevitably going to get miscarriages of justice”.

Talking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Robert Winder said: “This is one of those stories like a stone once lifted up ugly, rotten things keep emerging from beneath it.

“It is very distressing. It is very shocking but not necessarily surprising because we are getting used to this.

“In this case, I think incentivising targets and handing out bonuses to exceed them is just encouraging people to take shortcuts.

“It is encouraging them to work fast, rather than well. You are inevitably going to get these miscarriages of justice that we saw in this case.”

 

‘Labour will end the Tories’ hostile environment’

Responding to the contracted bonuses, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said: “It is truly shocking that Home Office contracts explicitly incentivised Capita to profit from Theresa May’s ‘deport first ask questions later’ approach.

“The true scale of this scandal is still being revealed and the Home Office have not come clean about how many of our fellow citizens were deported, forced into so-called voluntary deportations or detained as prisoners in their own country.

“Time and again under the Tories, private profit is put ahead of the public interest and even the rights of British citizens.

“Labour will end the Tories’ hostile environment, and will end the disgraceful business of bonuses for deportation.”