To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 12 May (HL4183), what proportion of the increase of 26p a day in asylum support is attributable to the additional costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, such as those arising from increased hygiene needs.
25 June 2020
We review the level of financial support provided to asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute annually, using a methodology that has been in place since 2014 and which the courts have agreed is rational and lawful. The methodology takes account of the costs of food, clothes, toiletries and other items.
The standard weekly allowance has been raised to £39.60 from £37.75, an increase of around 5%, because the methodology showed this is now the amount the average asylum seeker needs to meet their essential living needs. This increase is considerably higher than current year to year rise in general inflation, which was reported to be 0.8% in April.
This allowance is only one part of the package of support provided. We also provide free accommodation, utilities are paid for, council tax is paid for, and there is free access to the NHS and free education for their children.