How often are we told on the doorstep that refugees have a cushy time? That they are living a life of luxury on benefits and sponging off this country?
Let’s start with the fact that asylum seekers with outstanding applications are not allowed to work in the UK – and our asylum decisions can take years.
The level of benefits they get is derisory even compared to the low levels that are paid out to UK residents. This means that many refugee families are living below the official ‘extreme poverty’ level. For example a UK family with a four year old child on income support would get £186 a week in benefits. Not a princely sum, but just above the ‘severe poverty’ level. An asylum seeking family with the same configuration would only get £125 per week - £66 below the severe poverty line.
Read the excellent Guardian article on this in full on line at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/apr/09/young-migrants-below-poverty-line