Set at around £5 per day, asylum support is shockingly low. In fact, it’s too low for asylum seekers to meet their basic living needs. They can’t afford to properly feed their families. They can’t buy warm clothes in winter. They can’t afford toiletries, bus tickets or childcare. Single parents, families with young children and those with health issues find it even harder.
Why is asylum support so low?
In 2008, the Government decided to stop linking it to income support. Whilst income support has gradually increased, asylum support has been frozen. A single asylum seeker now receives just 51% of the equivalent level of income support; a lone parent receives just 49%.
The Home Office has never explained why it broke the link between asylum support and income support. They’ve also never explained why the current level of support is so low. Many charities have presented a huge amount of evidence that these rates are too low, lack respect for human dignity and undermine the welfare of children. But even with this, the rates haven’t changed.
Help to Change This
We want the Government to urgently review asylum support rates, making sure they adhere to equality legislation and protect children’s rights. In February 2014, supported by a fantastic legal team, Refugee Action took the Home Office to court to argue that their decision to freeze asylum support rates for this financial year was unlawful. If they win, it could be life-changing for asylum seekers.
The outcome of the court case won’t be known until later this year. In the meantime, you can keep the pressure on. If you think asylum support rates should be fair, add your voice by tweeting Refugee Action – tweet us using the hashtag #asylumsupport.
With your help, we can show the Government that there are hundreds of people out there who support asylum seekers, and think they deserve to live with dignity while they wait for a decision on their status. Add your voice, and let’s challenge this injustice.
For details about The legal challenge (case note 20/2/14) and the Secretary of State’s position, please click on the link.