The Government's decision to proceed with the withdrawal of all cash benefits for asylum-seekers is a policy of blame, which will condemn asylum- seekers to untold further hardship. The Government's intentions are disturbing. As set out in July's White Paper, the expensive, segregated provision of last resort without choice, cash or autonomy at a location subject to the whim of an official, within a framework of deference, is the spectre of the Poor Law. This proposed administrative system runs a high risk of stigmatisation, social isolation, down-grading and institutional neglect. Secondly, to quote the shambolic experience under the National Assistance Act as evidence, to scrap all cash benefits is a grave insult.
The Government is now looking with local authorities for local consortia to step in as an interim measure to push for the dispersal of asylum-seekers across the country. This is a "less bad option" than having an inefficient Home Office-led agency centre-stage, but likely effects are to place asylum- seekers in isolated hard-to-let estates with inadequate resources, and to leave many others in dire need, relying on begging and charity.
Committee for Non-Racist Benefits