COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Research timed to influence drafting of immigration bill

Asylum seekers are not getting enough support for basic needs such as food and healthcare, according to a joint Refugee Council and Oxfam report.

The report, Poverty and Asylum in the UK, was timed to coincide with the committee stage of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill going through parliament.

The current system institutionalises poverty, according to the report, which contains information gathered from 40 organisations working with asylum seekers around the UK.

The Refugee Council wants an independent body appointed to scrutinise living standards of refugees to end the dispute between humanitarian groups and Government on suitable living standards, said charity spokeswoman Jean Candler.

The charity wants cash or in-kind support for asylum seekers to be at the same level as income support. It also wants amendments tabled to the Bill before it becomes law in the autumn, said Candler.

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