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Asylum Seekers

Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether asylum seekers serving prison sentences are able to apply for hard cases section 4 NASS support. [105962]

Accommodation may be provided under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, as amended, in certain circumstances to asylum seekers whose claims have been finally determined as unsuccessful. Clearly, those in custody cannot obtain section 4 support. Similarly, asylum seekers who have not yet received a final decision on their claim for asylum are not eligible for accommodation under section 4.We seek to deport failed asylum seekers and others without rights of residence in the United Kingdom on completion of a prison sentence. Section 4 support would only be available if it was not possible for them to leave the country or be deported.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers and their dependants are supported by (a) NASS, (b) local authorities and (c) the mainstream welfare benefits system. [106089]

At the end of December 2002, 54,070 asylum seekers (including dependants) were being supported in The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) accommodation and 37,810 asylum seekers (including dependants) were in receipt of subsistence only support1. These statistics are available on the Home Office's immigration and asylum website: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigrationl.htmlFrom grant claims sent to the Home Office by English and Welsh local authorities, as at the end of December 2002,29,485 households were in receipt of local authority support(comprising 16,980 individuals and 12,505 families)

1 .

At the end of December 2002, 3,865 asylum seeker households (comprising 1,295 individuals and 2,570 families, were being supported by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

1 Figures have been rounded to the nearest five.