Home Office decision will force vulnerable into penury

Destitution is a bitter reality for many asylum seekers coming to the UK.

Scottish Refugee Council today put out a press release to respond to the Home Office failure to increase asylum support rates for vulnerable asylum seekers to a more humane level.

The decision by the Home Office was announced in a letter from Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire MP and will keep rates as low as £5 per day for essential living costs.

In the letter it claims that a man or woman seeking sanctuary in the UK can survive each week on £23.88 for food, £2.51 for clothing and footwear, £3 for travel, £1.08 for toiletries, and just 92p for household cleaning products.  

Concocting a decision

Scottish Refugee Council Acting Chief Executive Gary Christie said: “It’s clear that the Home Office had already made its decision to force people seeking asylum into penury and then concocted the justification for it, rather than basing it on the reality of people’s lived lives. What this decision does is castigate some of the most vulnerable people in the UK as the lowest of the low and calls into serious question this government’s commitment to the UK’s proud history of welcoming refugees.”

“It would cost us little to extend a more humane and dignified living budget to those who are in need of it.”

Scottish Refugee Council is calling for asylum support to be brought under the remit of the Department of Work and Pensions to sit alongside the rest of the social security budget. We also back the move to ensure asylum support rates are at least 70% of income support rates and yet again call for the right to work so that asylum seekers can support themselves.

Read the full press release here