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Asylum Support

Volume 489: debated on Thursday 19 March 2009

The UK Border Agency expects those with no right to remain in the United Kingdom to return home voluntarily; if they choose not to, we will enforce their removal. Where an individual, through not fault of their own, cannot be removed we will provide support to prevent destitution. This form of support is called section 4 support and is intended as a limited and temporary form of support. Section 4 support is currently administered through a voucher system.

I have approved plans to introduce a plastic payment card system for the administration of section 4 support, personalised for each applicant. This will enable the UK Border Agency to cut down on the abuse of asylum support and provide a more efficient system.

The UK Border Agency will pilot this scheme in June, with a view to rolling out the cards to all section 4 applicants later this year.