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The true cost of asylum seekers

SOLIHULL Council has refused to increase the level of payment given to failed asylum seekers - insisting that it is up to central government to fund the change.

SOLIHULL Council has refused to increase the level of payment given to failed asylum seekers - insisting that it is up to central government to fund the change.

Proposals were laid down to improve their weekly support fund from £30 to £42.16 which is the current National Asylum Support Service (NASS) rate.

If officials had agreed to the increase, taxpayers' pockets would have suffered.

But councillor John Windmill, cabinet portfolio holder for health, social care and partnerships, said residents should not be hit financially because of failed asylum seekers.

"Why should it fall on the council tax payers of Solihull rather than the whole general exchequer?" he said.

"I strongly suggest that we ask our two MP's to ask central government about funding this."

Currently there are seven individual failed asylum seekers who remain in the borough after being dispersed under the national dispersement programme.

Their claim for refugee status has been rejected by the Home Office but they have not been evicted because of on-going heath needs that they require.

Therefore Solihull council support them by funding their rent, utility bills, TV license, items deemed 'essential expenditure', a weekly subsistence allowance (£30) and a fortnightly travel allowance (£13.50).

Kathy McAteer, director of community service at Solihull Care Trust proposed that Solihull should increase the rate to fall in line with the majority of other local authorities who currently match the NASS rate.

But Robert Sleigh, cabinet member for health, social care and partnerships disagreed.

"Although we recognise there is a need to support these people we think the government should fund us rather than taxpayers."

 

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