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British Red Cross urges Westminster to stop the cuts

17 August 2015

The British Red Cross has warned that UK government plans to cut financial support for refused asylum seekers will force many into destitution.

The humanitarian organisation’s call comes in the wake of the Home Office’s recent decision to slash vital asylum support for families and single parents by almost a third.

David Miller, Red Cross director for Scotland, said the latest proposed cuts would force many failed asylum seekers, many of whom cannot return to their home countries, onto the streets with no means of support.

He said: “The Red Cross does a huge amount of work helping asylum seekers. In our experience there are some people who are refused asylum but cannot be immediately returned. They are human beings and as such must be supported until they can be returned home safely.”

Speaking about the Home Office’s decision to cut support to asylum seeking families, Mr Miller added: 

“Children will be the hardest hit by the proposal, with families forced into homelessness and destitution, creating a huge amount of disruption and a severe negative impact on the physical and emotional well-being of children.

“Removal of asylum support to families and forcing them into destitution is unlikely to induce more families to return home.

“Charities are already struggling to deal with the increase in poverty and economic insecurity across the UK and will not be able to offer appropriate levels of support to families affected by these proposals.”

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