UKBA makes minor concession on asylum support

UKBA makes minor concession as asylum support : Rates increased by 1.1%

Crucial support for people seeking asylum will see a small increase for 2010/11.

As of 12 April people seeking asylum will see a 1.1% increase in the financial assistance they received from the Home Office, via the UK Border Agency.

This includes an increase to Section 4 support, known as ‘hard case support’, which has not been raised since it began to be used in 2004.

While this is only a small rise in line with inflation, and will still leave those seeking asylum facing hardship, Scottish Refugee Council believes this increase is significant. It demonstrates that UK Border Agency is listening to us, our partners and supporters who backed this call.

Scottish Refugee Council is one of many UK organisations in the Still Human Still Here Campaign to have campaigned for better levels of assistance for those going through the asylum process. Part of this campaign involved asking the public to write letters to Immigration Minister Phil Woolas and their local MPs.

However Scottish Refugee Council and partner organisations are still concerned that this rate leaves vulnerable people seeking asylum well below the poverty line.

John Wilkes, Chief Executive of Scottish Refugee Council, said: “This is a very small increase, and does not address the fact the most asylum seekers must get by on less than 56% of income support. We’re still concerned that this level of assistance leaves vulnerable people  - who are not permitted to work - struggling to survive.

“However we recognise that our campaigning on this issue, alongside that of our colleagues and of ordinary people, has had a positive impact in a difficult political environment.

“Our continuing challenge is to use the fact that the UKBA is listening to make the case for a fairer system of asylum support, in line with income support rates.”

For more details and full briefing please contact Clare Harris, Media and Communications Officer on 0141 223 7927 or 07734 030763.

Notes to Editors:

The new rates of asylum support are summarised below, for more information see :http://www.england-legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2010/uksi_20100784_en_1   
 

Qualifying couple

£70.34

Lone parent aged 18 or over

£42.62

Single person aged 25 or over (where the decision to grant support was made prior to 5 October 2009 and the person reached age 25 prior to that date)

£42.62

Any other single person aged 18 or over

£35.52

Person aged at least 16 but under 18 (except a member of a qualifying couple)

£38.60

Person aged under 16

£51.37