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(Return to the manifesto)

  1. The Common People will immediately order a fast-track task force to expose and accept government liability, and expedite compensation payments within the 5-year lifetime of the parliament, in the following cases:
    1. Post-Office Horizon scandal - While some settlements have been paid, over 550 additional appeals remain unresolved and the present government maintains there are no grounds for further liability payouts.
    2. Undercover policing - Claims from additional women yet to reach settlement or conclusion. The government admits ethical issues but is resisting legal liability.
    3. Windrush scandal - Despite apologies and some compensation, the government has not admitted formal legal liability for hardships faced by Windrush immigrants.
    4. Historical institutional abuse - Allegations around widespread abuse in children's homes in Northern Ireland. The government has not accepted liability and disputes around compensation remain.
    5. Covid-19 healthcare worker deaths - No liability accepted over claims that lack of PPE led to the deaths of frontline staff. Families pursuing legal action.
  2. Sustained denial of legal liability in the face of public calls for proper compensation is difficult to justify persuasively on any grounds - financial, legal or political. While reasons of cost, precedent and bureaucratic reluctance may have led to departmental stonewalling and subsequent delay, these concerns appear insignificant compared to basic requirements of justice, honour and democratic accountability. Political leaders denying liabilities may be excessively motivated by knee-jerk institutional denial and short-term thinking, losing sight of the bigger moral picture and public duty is an unacceptable position which time and again fails the public good.
  3. In all of the listed areas, accepting legal liability acknowledges deeper institutional failings beyond one-off incidents. This is the essential first step toward righting these clear wrongs.
  4. An explicit manifesto commitment gives a strong democratic mandate for action that is harder for civil servants to ignore or obstruct.
  5. Generating public expectations for swift redress makes it politically harder for ministers to accept delays.
  6. A manifesto pledge makes it easier to justify urgent parliamentary time for any legislation needed to enable restitution.
  7. A manifesto commitment strengthens the case for upfront budget allocation to compensation funds as a priority.
  8. Manifesto pledges increase media awareness and scrutiny, adding pressure for follow-through.
  9. Publicly stated time frames allow clearer monitoring of whether responsible ministers meet targets.