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Asylum Seekers

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many asylum seekers are located in Northern Ireland; at what establishments they are being housed; and what the cost of housing asylum seekers in Northern Ireland was in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [113369]

I have been asked to reply.The information is not available in the form requested.The availability of information on the location of asylum seekers in the UK is currently linked to the support the asylum seeker receives. Asylum seekers in the UK either receive support from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS), local authorities or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), or are supporting themselves.At the end of December 2002, 170

1 asylum seekers (including dependents) were being supported in NASS accommodation and 201 asylum seekers (including dependents) were in receipt of subsistence only support in Northern Ireland.

No information is held centrally on the location of residence of asylum seekers supported by DWP or who support themselves.

Information in respect of the cost of housing asylum seekers in Northern Ireland is not currently available.

1 Figures have been rounded to the nearest five. The figures exclude cases where support has been ceased.