Asylum seekers left in limbo should be allowed to work

October 1, 2010 1:20 PM

HuppertAsylum seekers left in limbo by the immigration service should be allowed to work to ease the burden on the taxpayer, claims Cambridge MP, Julian Huppert.

He believes asylum seekers who have been waiting for more than six months for their cases to be concluded or who have been refused asylum but temporarily cannot be returned to their home country through no fault of their own, should be allowed to seek employment.

Julian, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, has signed declarations by the Jewish Council of Racial Equality and Still Human Still Here calling on the government to change the employment rules affecting these people.

He said: "The asylum system has been left in chaos by the Labour government. Only around 40 per cent of cases have been dealt with in six months compared with the Home Office's target of 75 per cent.

"Behind these figures there are families stuck in limbo with no way of supporting themselves. This can affect their mental health and have wider implications for the community as a whole and the taxpayer picks up the cost. By allowing these people to seek work they will not only be able to provide for their families but they will ease the burden on the taxpayer. This makes complete common sense."

The majority of asylum seekers who have found themselves trapped in a system, over which they have no control, are surviving on just over £5 a day because they are forced to rely on government or charity support.

Julian is confident that a change in policy would not attract economic migrants to the UK. Only a small percentage of asylum seekers would be in the system long enough to apply for permission to work after the government set new targets to resolve 90 per cent of cases within six months by next year.

Many European and Scandinavian countries already allow asylum seekers to work six months or less after making their asylum application and all of these countries receive less applications than the UK.

What would you like to do next?