Asylum burden still causing concern

13 Jul 00
Local authorities remain concerned about the financial burden of coping with asylum seekers, despite news that the government will support newcomers who are not entitled to benefits.

14 July 2000

Local authorities supporting in-country asylum seekers – those who failed to declare their intentions when entering Britain – spent around £30m more in 1999/2000 than they were able to claim back.

Existing in-country asylum seekers will continue to be funded by local authorities. The Association of London Government and the Local Government Association are pressing the government to make grants that fully reflect the costs of supporting them.

The National Asylum Support Service (Nass) – a new Home Office directorate – is taking over responsibility for new in-country asylum seekers in London on July 24. It will take on all cases in England and Wales between 31 July and August 29.

Those appealing against a negative decision will become Nass's responsibility from September 25.

Mike Boyle, team leader of the LGA's refugee and asylum seekers project, said: 'In an ideal world they would take responsibility for all new cases tomorrow, but we can understand operationally why Nass wants to do it on a phased basis.'


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