Home Office Weekly Payments to go down while keeping asylum seekers wholly dependent on lucrative asylum contracts

15 December 2023

From 8 January 2024, the Home Office will be reducing the weekly payments for individuals seeking asylum who are currently housed in hotels, hostels, or guesthouses, from £9.58 to £8.86 while still making it impossible for refugees to stand on their own two feet.

This decision comes at a time when the cost of living crisis is already putting a strain on individuals seeking asylum, yet the Home Office apparently believes that they are receiving too much money for food and other essentials.

It is worth noting that the rates for individuals living in dispersal accommodation will be increasing from £47.39 to £49.18 per week, representing a 3.8% increase. However, it is important to consider that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in September was 6.7%, which highlights the disparity between the rate increase and the rising cost of living.

One cannot help but wonder if those in the government have ever considered a more effective policy, one that involves expediting asylum claims, allowing individuals to find work, contribute to society, pay taxes, and ultimately exit the asylum contracts system. This approach would not only benefit the individuals seeking asylum but also yield dividends for society as a whole.

Unfortunately, it seems that the Home Office has prioritised the profitability of asylum contracts over the well-being and resettlement of people fleeing wars and persecution. 

By forcing people to depend on the state, and restricting their right to work and secure their own accommodation using their own earnings, refugees and asylum seekers are prevented from leaving the asylum "support" system and then also become easy targets for far-right attacks.

The Home Office is making it really hard for refugees to leave the asylum system, find work and rent their own accommodation. Conveniently this strategy - used for the past 23 years - keeps the asylum contracts profitable.

Robina Qureshi

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