Asylum seekers in Wales will receive £1,600-per-month in benefits and public money to fight deportation

18 April 2023, 18:16 | Updated: 18 April 2023, 18:21

Asylum seekers will be given an income of £1,600-per-month in Wales under new plans by Labour's Welsh Government under Mark Drakeford
Asylum seekers will be given an income of £1,600-per-month in Wales under new plans by Labour's Welsh Government under Mark Drakeford. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

Asylum-seekers housed in Wales will receive £1,600-per-month and taxpayer cash to help them fight to stay in the UK, Welsh Labour ministers have announced.

The plans which have been submitted to the UK's Justice Secretary Lord Bellamy include a pilot scheme of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) for the migrants as well as allowing them to access legal aid for their case in Britain's courts.

Three members of the Labour-led Senedd are co-signatories of the plans: Jane Hutt, Julie Morgan and Mick Antoniw.

The letter to Lord Bellamy demands that all adult arrivals should receive the UBI when they get to Wales and not be deprived of help with their legal fees.

The request follows a similar scheme which provides the same amount of UBI to care leavers for two years after they leave state care.

The plan will also apply to child asylum-seekers who turn 18 after they arrive in Wales, should they get the go-ahead.

It comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is intending to stop small boats crossing the English Channel as part of his main policy pledges ahead of the next General Election - which must be announced before the end of 2024.

Rishi Sunak has made tackling asylum seekers crossing the Channel one of his primary policy focuses ahead of the 2024 general election
Rishi Sunak has made tackling asylum seekers crossing the Channel one of his primary policy focuses ahead of the 2024 general election. Picture: Getty

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The UK Government is currently spending £6 million each day on hotel and emergency accommodation on housing asylum seekers - many of whom arrive in Britain by way of the Channel.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Last year we spent around £30 million on legal aid for asylum seekers and we will respond to the letter in due course."

A Welsh government spokesperson told the MailOnline: "We believe that care leavers have a right to be properly supported as they develop into independent young adults.

"Too many young people leaving care continue to face significant barriers to achieving a successful transition into adulthood than many of their peers.

"In line with our Nation of Sanctuary approach, we want to ensure that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are supported to rebuild their lives and are not prevented from accessing appropriate Welsh government schemes and benefits to support their integration."

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