Today (Monday 3 October) is the first day of Challenge Poverty Week 2022. We’re standing together with hundreds of community groups, charities and faith groups across Scotland to demand action on poverty in Scotland.

The rising cost of living is forcing more people across Scotland to make really difficult decisions for themselves and their families about the essentials like food, clothing and transport.

Things are especially tough for people on low incomes, including people seeking safety.

People seeking asylum do not have the right to work to support themselves and their families. Instead, they must rely on small amounts of money from the Home Office to get by.

Current levels of support for people in the asylum system are far below Universal Credit and have not kept pace with the cost of living.

Today people seeking asylum have to survive on just £40.85 per week. That is less than £6 a day for the essentials like food and transport, not to mention things like social clubs or activities for children which help people make friends and feel part of their new communities.

For people who are housed in asylum accommodation – like hotels or army barracks – where food is provided, the situation is even worse. They receive just £8.24 a week – less than £1.20 a day.

The people we work with are reporting really serious levels of poverty. People are struggling to pay for a bus to attend a crucial Home Office or health appointment. To take their children clubs and activities. To make new friends. Or simply to put food on the table. Parents are missing meals so their kids can eat. We can’t accept this.

We’re calling for people seeking asylum to get more financial support, so that they can live with dignity. Asylum support rates must be increased to

  • £84.12 per week for people living in dispersal accommodation (usually flats in towns and cities)
  • £44.08 per week for people living in asylum accommodation where food is provided (usually hotels or army barracks)
Laura Delaney
Author: Laura Delaney