Asylum support rates will not change following High Court challenge

Asylum support rates will remain unchanged following a Government review.

The rates were reviewed on the order of the High Court after the ruling in Refugee Action, R (On the Application Of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 1033 (Admin). The Court found that the Home Secretary failed to take reasonable steps to gather sufficient information to enable her to make a rational judgment in setting asylum support rates.

The Home Office announced on 11 August 2014 that the rates would not change and a payment of £5.23 a day was sufficient.

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You can read a copy of the Home Office asylum support letter explaining the decision The Home Office said that the current sum enables people to meet their essential living needs.

The Refugee Council said that this did not reflect the experience of asylum seekers that it sees every day, with asylum support rates pushing vulnerable people into poverty and ill health.

Lisa Doyle, Head of Advocacy at the Refugee Council, said: “This is a shocking decision which will only serve to ensure that asylum seekers are trapped in poverty. We are extremely alarmed that the Government looked at the evidence and then concluded that it’s happy with people being forced into a situation where they struggle to eat or get the medication they need.”

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Refugee Action Chief Executive Dave Garratt said: “We are appalled by this decision. It will have a devastating impact on the dignity and wellbeing of thousands of individuals and families in our government’s care. Refugee Action refuses to accept that this is a rational response to the judge’s ruling.”

Garratt added that Refugee Action was considering further action on the issue.

“We will not give up until we see treating people with dignity and respecting human rights high on our government’s agenda,” he said.

Refugee Action is fighting to increase asylum support rates in its Bring Back Dignity campaign

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