Judge orders Home Office to review asylum support rates

The Home Office has to re-examine levels of support paid to the poorest asylum seekers, a High Court Judge has ruled.

The decision comes as a result of a court battle led by Refugee Action and supported by the Refugee Council and others to challenge the decision to freeze levels of asylum support for the third year in a row.

Currently, a single adult is only entitled to around £36 a week in support; which results in ill health and hunger for many individuals.

The Home Office said it was considering appealing the decision.

"This is a landmark judgement which recognises that we should not force some of the most vulnerable people in our society into poverty,” said Refugee Council Chief Executive Maurice Wren. "This decision should drive change which could transform the lives of thousands of asylum seekers. It’s extremely disappointing to hear that the Home Office may appeal rather than focusing on overhauling the system to make it more humane.”

Mr Wren added: "Asylum seekers come to the UK fleeing persecution and seeking safety. As they are not permitted to work, they live in enforced dependency with no clear end date. The Government has a duty to ensure that the system which is supposed to protect people does not cause them further harm.”

The court ordered Home Secretary Theresa May to reach a new decision on the level of support by 9th August 2014.

Click here to read the full judgment.

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