EDM 99: asylum support rates

parliament_logo‘Be The Change’ Action Update August 2014 – Regional Asylum Activism:

This month we are calling on you to urge your MP to support an Early Day Motion on raising asylum support rates, following the Government’s disappointing announcement that the level of asylum support will remain unchanged this year. We are also asking you to defend access to healthcare for people seeking asylumin the light of the Department of Health’s new implementation scheme for introducing charging for primary and emergency healthcare.

In the coming weeks, Regional Asylum Activism will be teaming up with the Parliamentary Outreach Team and local groups to submit evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry on treatment in detention. Do you have a testimony to share? Interested in learning more about parliamentary inquiries and the work of All Party Parliamentary Groups? Want to take part in an evidence gathering event? Then read on, or get in touch with your Regional Activism Co-ordinator

So, what’s the latest on the campaign to raise asylum support rates? As you will remember, following a successful legal challenge by Refugee Action, the High Court ruled that the decision to freeze asylum support rates was flawed and ordered Theresa May (the Home Secretary) to review asylum support rates in August 2014.Disappointingly, the Home Office yesterday announced the conclusion of this review; namely that the current cash payments under Section 95 are sufficient to meet essential living needs and that the level of support will remain unchanged.

A letter explaining the Home Office’s decision is attached. Click here to read Refugee Action’s response to the announcement.

In light of this very disappointing decision, we need to intensify our efforts to get MPs to sign Early Day Motion (99)The EDM is calling for the Government to raise asylum support levels to at least 70% of income support – the equivalent of £7.17 a day for most adult asylum seekers – and to increase this in line with inflation annually. The EDM was tabled by Teresa Pearce (Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead). It has already gathered support from across the political spectrum, with 66 signatures to date, but we still need your help to encourage more MPs to get behind this.

Parliament is in recess until Monday 1st September (MPs cannot sign the EDM until Parliament is in session), but over the next few weeks you can gear yourself up to be ready to urge your local MP to sign the EDM in September …

You can write to them using the Still Human Still Here’s excellent model letter. Or why not make an appointment to meet them at their surgery? Our briefing on why asylum support rates should be no less than 70% of income support should help you prepare for discussing this with your MP, but if you need any other advice please get in touch with your Regional Activism Co-ordinator (contact details below