Allowance cut 'hits the vulnerable'
Cuts in allowances for asylum seekers, including single parents, are provoking fury among children’s groups and Labour MPs.
A coalition of eight charities today demands talks with Home Office over the reductions, which it warns will drive more youngsters into poverty.
The plans to slash or freeze payments for many asylum-seekers were revealed by The Independent in July and the new lower rates came fully into effect last week.
Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society, Gingerbread, the Mother’s Union, Mumsnet, the NSPCC, Save the Children and Women for Refugee Women denounced the cuts in a joint statement.
They warned the reductions would “further jeopardise the well-being of some of the most vulnerable children in our community”.
Mumsnet’s intervention is particularly embarrassing for the Government as the website, founded by mothers to share parenting tips, today hosts a live webchat with Gordon Brown.
Justine Roberts, its managing director, said: “We know how hard raising children can be, even in comfortable circumstances. So we can’t support cuts that will make life harder still for families seeking asylum.”
Lisa Nandy, policy adviser at the Children’s Society, said: “This pushes asylum-seeking children further into poverty and is a blight on their childhood.”
Neera Sharma, assistant director of policy at Barnardo’s, said: “The cuts will force these children to live below the poverty line which in this – the world’s fifth richest nation – is shameful.”
The subsistence allowance paid to single asylum-seekers aged 25 and over has been cut from £42.16 to £35.13 a week.
Allowances paid to lone parents have been pegged at the current level of £42.16 – equivalent in real terms to a reduction. The revised rates apply to new asylum applicants rather than those already in the system.
Last night the Labour MP Neil Gerrard, chairman of the all-party group on refugees, promised to protest to ministers.
He said: “People with children are already expected to live on less than we would pay on income support. If there are further cuts on top there is real concern over the impact.
“The amounts of money concerned are not going to be that great in relation to the Home Office budget.”
Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, said: “Asylum seekers typically live in UK Border Agency accommodation and so have no housing costs, or water, gas or electricity bills.
“In view of the difficult economic climate, support rates were reviewed this year to ensure essential living needs of asylum seekers could be met within budgetary constraints. We review asylum support rates on an annual basis.”
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how the internet reacted
- 3 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Britain First picture: Photographer 'horrified' after first Afghan policewoman killed by Taliban used for 'ban the burka' campaign
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: The JobRandstad are currently in need of ...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is the UK mark...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant We are curr...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...