A new poll shows the majority of people in Scotland support major changes to the way the UK’s asylum system is run.
The survey, carried out by Survation in June 2020 found:
• 73% of Scots think people seeking asylum should be allowed to work to support themselves and their families
• 52% think people seeking asylum should receive financial support in line with current rates of Universal Credit
• 59% believe it would be better for Scotland to run its own asylum and immigration system
• 74% believe it’s important to make refugees feel welcome in Scotland
The survey sought the views of more than 1000 Scottish residents and found that 73 per cent believe people should be allowed to work while they wait for a decision on their claim for asylum. The UK currently bans people from working to support themselves and their families before they receive a positive decision on their claim for protection.
While people are forbidden to work, they must live on asylum support of around £5 per person per day. A small majority of Scottish residents surveyed (52 per cent) think this amount is too low and that rates should be increased.
With asylum policy decided on by the UK government in Westminster, the survey asked whether it would be better for Scotland to manage its own asylum system. 59 per cent of respondents agreed that this would be better than the current arrangement.
The survey also found that almost three quarters of Scottish residents believe it is important to make refugees feel welcome in Scotland.
Sabir Zazai, Scottish Refugee Council’s Chief Executive, said:
“These findings show a desire in Scotland for things to be done differently. We have all been forced to reassess priorities recently, and Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter mean we can no longer accept unfairness or inequality as inevitable.
“We are in a time of seismic change and as this poll shows, people in Scotland are ready for a more fair and humane approach to refugee protection.”