asked Her Majesty's Government:What information they have received from the Refugee Legal Centre about the number of cases they are having to turn away because of a lack of resources; whether, in the interests of ensuring that fewer cases are dealt with by unscrupulous or incompetent immigration practitioners, they will increase the centre's resources; and what comparison they have made of the cost of representation by the centre and other practitioners. [HL3226]
The Refugee Legal Centre have advised us that, because of a lack of resources, they will have to turn away in excess of 2,500 appellants in this financial year. We have increased the centre's core funding by 3 per cent. for 1998–99 to £3.2 million. Funding levels for future years have yet to be decided. We have made no comparison between the cost of representation by the centre and other practitioners.