The Home Office has abandoned a decision to slash vital support for families and single parents by almost a third, only days before it was due to come into effect. Refugee Action and the UK’s refugee sector widely condemned the proposed cuts.
Outrage met a government announcement made less than two weeks ago that without warning, families seeking safety in the UK were to see their weekly support for each child cut by £16. As of 6 April, all asylum seekers were to receive a weekly allowance of £36.95, a move that would have disproportionately impacted children.
“Refugee Action welcomes a reversal of a policy that would have targeted some of the most vulnerable people in society,” said Stephen Hale, Chief Executive of Refugee Action.
Research by Refugee Action found that nearly 40 per cent of asylum seekers already struggle to feed themselves and their children, while 88 per cent said they did not have enough money to buy clothes.
Asylum seekers have fled war, torture and other unimaginable atrocities, and arrive in the UK with almost nothing at all. They are unable to work while their claims are being processed, which often takes years. These families have no option but to rely on government support which will amount to only half of mainstream state support for single parents in the UK.
All asylum seekers will continue receiving the same level of section 96 support, apart from single adults who will see an increase of 33p a week.