UK Government makes cruel and heartless cuts to support for asylum seekers

Half of the world's refugees are children

The UK Government’s decision to slash essential asylum support for families and single parents by almost a third will have a shocking impact on people seeking our protection.

Today the UK Government laid regulations that will reduce the level of financial support for families with children seeking asylum by £16 per child per week.

From 10 August, when the regulations come into effect, all destitute asylum seekers will be forced to live on £36.95 a week. As men and women seeking asylum are barred from employment and the dignity of supporting themselves and their families, they are forced to rely on financial support administered by the Home Office.  The new rates will mean that families will have to survive on half of basic mainstream support.

Gary Christie, Head of Policy, Scottish Refugee Council said:

“Today’s announcement by the UK Government to slash support to asylum seeking families is simply shocking, cruel and heartless.

The oft-cited phrase by UK Government Ministers that the UK has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees has rung hollow for many years. By throwing families who have sought our protection into extreme poverty, Teresa May is on a mission to make this statement null and void.

The UK Government should commit to an independent review into the levels of support that asylum seekers need to survive, and allow parents the dignity to work and support themselves and their families.

The decision also calls into question whether the Home Office is the most appropriate government department to be running a welfare support system.”

Under the new system:

  • There will be a payment of £36.95 per week for each asylum seeker, whether they are adults or children.
  • A single parent with one child will get £73.90, compared to £96.90 now.
  • A single parent with two children will receive £110.85, compared to £149.86.
  • A couple with two children will receive £147.80. They currently receive £178.44.