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Asylum

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department has conducted a review of (a) financial and (b) other support provided to people at all stages of the asylum process. (227536)

Asylum seekers who are destitute, or likely to become destitute, are provided with support under sections 95 and 98 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 from the time they arrive in the UK until their claim has been fully determined. This support takes the form of cash subsistence or accommodation, or both. Failed asylum seekers can receive support, as accommodation and non-cash vouchers, under section 4 of the Act if they would otherwise be destitute and they are taking reasonable steps to return or are able to point to a legitimate barrier to their return.

Cash subsistence support rates for asylum seekers supported under section 95 are reviewed annually.

In January 2008 new regulations came into force following a review and public consultation on essential living needs not connected with the provision of accommodation under section 4 for the most vulnerable.

Regional Target Contracts for the provision of accommodation across the UK were introduced from 2006 following a review which identified how contractual improvements could be made.

We are currently holding regional meetings with stakeholders to seek a range of views on how to improve the way we provide asylum support to asylum seekers, including those unsuccessful in their claim.