This is the official position of the Refugee Council following today’s launch of a new coalition formed to respond to the Government’s Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill, which will receive its second reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday 24 April.
Nick Hardwick, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“The challenge facing the Government is not to repeat the mistakes of previous asylum legislation. And, yet even though the dust has only just settled on the grave of the maligned voucher system, the Government is insistent on maintaining the inequitable levels of support for asylum seekers.
Even more disconcerting is that Ministers plan to completely withdraw this meagre support from those asylum seekers who have made their own housing arrangements.
“If this support is withdrawn, people who have not applied for accommodation will be left with absolutely nothing, and completely dependent on the goodwill of their family and friends. This will place even more pressure on the impoverished inner city communities willing to help them out.”
“This contradicts pledges made by the Government to tackle social exclusion and integrate marginal communities.”
Notes to editors
1. Coalition members include the British Medical Association, Children’s Society, Churches Commission for Racial Justice, Family Welfare Association, Oxfam, Refugee Council, Save the Children and the Transport and General Workers’ Union.
2. A joint statement, ‘Developing a positive agenda for asylum, immigration and citizenship’ from the coalition is launched on Monday 22 April in the House of Commons.