On 27 October, the House of Lords debated Baroness Hamwee’s motion to annul the regulations which reduced asylum support levels for children. A total of 14 Peers expressed their concerns over the cuts and over the way the regulations were introduced. Click here to read the full debate.
Baroness Hamwee called a vote on the motion to annul which was defeated (68 votes for the motion,194 against). Lord Rosser said Labour could not support the motion “as it does not in our view meet the criteria for such Motions set out in the 2006 report of the Joint Committee on conventions between the two Houses.”
Instead Labour tabled a Motion of regret “to place squarely on the record our strong concern about the Government’s decision, in particular their decision to remove the higher rates of allowance for child and adolescent destitute asylum seekers, which is likely to have a serious adverse impact.”
Lord Rosser did not take this motion of regret to a vote as “the subject of support for destitute asylum seekers will continue to be a subject of intense debate and discussion in your Lordships’ House under the terms of the Immigration Bill currently in the Commons.”
Lord Bates, replying for the Government, stated that they would continue to monitor the impact of the cuts and that if groups could show that there is “unintended hardship as a result of these regulations” or that the cuts “have a real detrimental effect, and evidence can be provided to us” then they would consider this when reviewing the rates next year.
Still Human Still Here has urged its member organisations to document cases where families (or single adults) are unable to meet their essential living needs and particularly any consequent negative impacts on the health of members of their families. We in City of Sanctuary are fully aware of the impact this has had on asylum seeker families and will have a range of stories to share, from concerns over the need to buy new shoes and school uniforms to lack of toys and books. Please send any evidence you have through to Still Human Still Here by emailing [email protected]