Hotel asylum seekers to get £8 a week for “essentials”

1 November 2020

“Thousands of asylum seekers in hotels need cash support during pandemic, Home Office admits”

In recognition of the fact that people seeking asylum in hotel accommodation need some way to pay for basic essentials such as toiletries, hand sanitiser, phone data and bus fares, Asylum seekers in hotels will get £8 a week towards clothes, non-prescription medicines and travel. Home Office Minister Chris Philp has also announced that financial support for people in normal asylum housing is to increase by 3p – from £39.60 to £39.63.

The Home Office said: “We acted quickly and decisively earlier this year to look after asylum seekers’ wellbeing during the pandemic by increasing the level of asylum support to ensure essential needs are provided for.”

There are no words.

Imagine handing the derisory sum of £8 to a human being and telling them to survive on that for a week, every week for months on end. This decision just compounds the misery, isolation and hardship of people forced to live in hotels while they await a decision on their asylum claim.

Multiple tragedies have taken in place in Glasgow since asylum seekers were dumped in hotels without a penny for essentials like bus fares, phone top ups, toiletries, basic clothing. There are 9,500 people in hotels across the U.K. with no money. People are too frightened to speak out. We continue to call for a public inquiry and gather names.

They say do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Perhaps every Home Office minister involved in this decision should be put into a down-at-heel hotel and handed £8 a week for “essentials”, and given a 3p a week pay increase.

Asylum seekers in the UK are forbidden to work while they wait for a decision on their claim, which can often take years. Government figures released in August revealed more than 70 per cent of people seeking asylum in the UK wait more than six months for a decision on their claim.

Starting this week, as part of our emergency humanitarian work, Positive Action in Housing will begin its winter appeal to pushback against the Home Office’s callous policies. Watch this space and our blog at to see how you can support the appeal.

Robina Qureshi

“Thousands of asylum seekers placed in emergency hotel accommodation should have been receiving financial support during the pandemic, the Home Office has admitted after it was ordered by the High Court to conduct a review into the matter.””

“In July, The Independent reported on warnings from NGOs that there had been a deterioration in the mental health and wellbeing of asylum seekers in hotels, as the lack of financial support was leaving them unable to buy essential supplies such as toothpaste and baby milk, and unable to use public transport.

“At the start of October, around 9,500 asylum seekers were being accommodated in 91 hotels across the UK, up from around 1,200 at the end of March and around 8,000 at the end of August – an increase that is largely the result of the pause on moving people out of asylum accommodation during the pandemic.

“While asylum seekers usually receive just over £5 a day, those in hotel accommodation have until now received no financial support from the Home Office, on the grounds that food and toiletries are provided.”

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