I agree, it is vitally important that the most vulnerable members of our society are protected.
The Home Office also shares this commitment with regard to those seeking asylum and has sought to adjust processes where necessary.
Addressing the House of Commons on Monday 29th June, Chris Philp MP outlined the United Kingdom’s proud history of supporting asylum seekers, noting that in the last year the UK made 20,000 grants of protection or asylum, one of the highest numbers of any country in Europe. Mr Philp MP further noted that the UK has a statutory obligation to provide destitute asylum seekers with support while their case is being considered which includes free accommodation, with utilities and council tax paid and access to free NHS healthcare. Free education is available for those with children, and there is a cash allowance to cover other essential living needs, which recently increased by 5%, considerably more than inflation.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has increased the help available to go beyond the statutory requirements above. While an asylum claim is being decided, asylum seekers can remain in support asylum accommodation and as a direct result of that decision, which was implemented on 27 March, around 4,000 more people are in supported accommodation than was the case at the end of March.
The Government has procured additional hotels around the country to meet this additional need, and have provided full-board accommodation, including laundry services, personal hygiene products and feminine hygiene products. Wrap-around services are also provided, including welfare support, healthcare and access to mental health services.
The cash amount received by asylum seekers which, as you mention in your email has increased by 26 pence per day, is only one small part of the support package available to asylum seekers. This includes free accommodation, free healthcare and free education as well as the more general support available to the whole of society via Local Authorities, which have received £3.2 billion to further assist those in need at this difficult time.