Lib Dems highlight Home Office incompetence which leads to £70 million compensation payments

Good work by Alistair Carmichael and the Lib Dem researchers and press team in working out and highlighting that the Home Office paid out £70 million in compensation to people it has wronged in the past year. They have calculated that this would amount to an extra 1700 Police officers who could have been employed.

That’s a big number but behind it are people whose lives were ruined, damaged, who were put through absolute hell by Home Office injustice and incompetence. That is unforgivable.

From the Guardian:

The payouts, highlighted by the Liberal Democrats, are believed to be the highest amount for compensation and legal costs in a single year for at least a decade.

They also show that the Home Office was required to pay £28.8m last year in adverse legal costs for 2,106 cases it lost.

Compensation payments have trebled since Priti Patel became home secretary, from £13.6m in 2019-20 to £25.4m in 2020-21 and £41.1m last year.

The disclosure comes as the government prepares to spend an undisclosed amount on sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, after a £120m upfront payment for the deal.

Alistair is quoted as saying.

Conservative Ministers are pouring taxpayers’ hard-earned cash down the drain because they can’t even get the basics right. The British people are paying the price for Priti Patel’s appalling incompetence and her contempt for the rule of law.

The Government needs to get a grip and stop this scandalous waste of money. If the Home Office acted lawfully and made decisions properly and fairly, it would save millions that could be spent making our communities safer with more police on the beat.

Anyone who has had any dealings with the Home Office and knows how stressful dealing with them is could think of many other good uses for that money – reducing the exorbitant fees, for a start. It is our policy to give NHS staff who worked during the pandemic indefinite leave to remain so they aren’t left with bills of over £10,000 so there are many good uses for the money, not just more much needed Police Officers.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • George Thomas 5th Aug '22 - 2:09pm

    “Conservative Ministers are pouring taxpayers’ hard-earned cash down the drain because they can’t even get the basics right. ”

    So many will vote Tory at next election because they don’t trust big government and prefer small, Tory governments or because they think Tories know how to look after money. Stories like this are important to show exactly who the Tories are.

  • Roger Roberts 5th Aug '22 - 3:46pm

    Home Office mishandling of Immigration decisions has resulted in nearly 100,000 adverse decisions over last 5 years being overturned on appeal. 100,0000 Asylum seekers being wrongly refused immigration status in the UK.

  • Peter Watson 5th Aug '22 - 4:48pm

    Highlighting it as the “highest amount for compensation and legal costs in a single year for at least a decade” looks like a bit of an own goal given Lib Dem involvement in that government and its “hostile environment” for immigration a decade ago!! 🙁
    Also, the article shows that a huge chunk of last year’s £41.1m (£25.1m) was compensation to victims of the Windrush scandal, something that was presumably inherited by Patel, so it seems unfair to single her out personally.

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