Letter: Losers in the Budget are those on low incomes

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The Independent Online
From Ms Olly Grender

Sir: On 29 November, Peter Lilley confirmed plans to cut benefits to asylum-seekers. Those who request asylum after arrival in the UK and those who appeal against a decision to deny them asylum will lose all form of income and benefit to pay housing costs. Up to 50,000 people will be affected next year.

This draconian piece of legislation attacks the basic rights of thousands of people who are in this country legally. The plans will save less than 0.2 per cent of the social security budget and further marginalise a group of people who already live in some of the worst and most insecure housing conditions.

On 8 January 1996, up to 13,000 people will lose their incomes and many will lose their homes. No provision has been made for these people, who are already some of the most vulnerable in society, and a large increase in street homelessness, including unaccompanied children, vulnerable, sick people and families with young children, will almost certainly be the result. Plans to cut housing benefit to people under 25 from October 1996 are likely to increase the numbers of people sleeping rough.

These drastic cuts will ensure that the misery of rough sleeping persists in this country.

Yours sincerely,

Olly Grender

Director of Communications

Shelter

London, EC1

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