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Asylum: Poverty

Question for Home Office

UIN 41954, tabled on 3 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of people who are seeking asylum and in receipt of Section 95 support are estimated to be below the (a) 60 per cent of median income relative and (b) absolute poverty lines.

Answered on

10 September 2021

The package of support provided to asylum seekers and their dependants supported under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 because they would otherwise be destitute usually consists of free furnished accommodation with utility bills and council tax paid. Individuals are also able to access free NHS healthcare and free education for children. They are also provided with a cash allowance to cover their other “essential living needs” (the statutory test set out in the 1999 Act). The level of the cash allowance is currently set at £39.63 per week for each individual in the household, as this is the level assessed as necessary to meet the statutory test.

The income available to asylum seekers in receipt of section 95 support is lower than a figure based on 60% of the median income of UK households (approximately £17,000 per year) and lower than other measures of poverty levels. However, the level of cash allowance is regularly reviewed using a methodology endorsed by the Court of Appeal and Inner Court of Session.

Answered by

Home Office
Named day
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