Yesterday the UK government announced a £1.85 a week increase in asylum support rates, equivalent to an increase of 26p per day.

This came after calls from Scottish Refugee Council and the whole UK-wide refugee sector to increase support rates in line with the £20 a week increase in Universal Credit.

People seeking refugee protection in the UK are not allowed to work to support themselves and their families and are reliant on asylum support payments of just over £5 per day.

We know how difficult it is to survive on this amount of money. It is close to impossible. But during a public health emergency – when prices are rising and we all need to spend extra on hand sanitiser and painkillers and healthy food – it is obscene to ask people to do this. This is an insult, not an increase.

We are bitterly disappointed that the UK government continues, despite the pandemic, to push people seeking asylum into a parallel system, separate and unequal.

We will continue to fight this and for the right to work while seeking protection in the UK.

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Chris Afuakwah
Author: Chris Afuakwah