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Asylum: Finance

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) administrative cost of appraising entitlement to section 4 support, (b) administrative cost of running an appeals system for those refused support under section 4, (c) the cost of printing, distributing and operating the use of vouchers for asylum seekers and (d) total cost of administering the voucher scheme for asylum seekers was in the last year for which figures are available. (255866)

The way that data on the costs of providing section 4 support are recorded does not enable the separate collation of the administrative costs of appraising entitlement to section 4 support, as distinct from other costs such as consultancy, travel, office services and training.

Responsibility for running the Asylum Support Tribunal, which hears appeals by those refused asylum support or for whom asylum support is discontinued, rests with the Ministry of Justice, not the Home Office. Appeals may relate to support under sections 4 or 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

The costs of printing section 4 vouchers and administering and distributing those vouchers is included within the unit costs paid to accommodation providers under the UK Border Agency's target contracts. It is not an additional cost. Consequently it is not possible to provide a figure for the overall costs of administering section 4 vouchers.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements she has made with local authorities in response to their representations about a shortfall in their funding for dealing with asylum seekers in the years before the 2006-07 financial year. (257214)

All claims from authorities for support for adults and families and UASCs have now been agreed and paid in with the exception of two London authorities, where the agency has recently made a final settlement offer following discussions with the authorities.

UKBA has paid all standard grant payments for UASC for the financial years up to and including 2007-08. UKBA has also agreed and paid all UASC special circumstances claims up to and including 2007-08.

DCSF and UKBA reached agreement with the Local Government Association and London Councils on the settlement of claims for leaving care expenditure up to and including 2007-08. Payments have been made to individual local authorities covered by the agreement.