Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

19 OCT 2018

Asylum Seekers Right to Work

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about asylum seekers and employment.

I understand your concern on this matter and hope the following information on this topic from the Home Office is of interest:

The UK has a proud tradition of providing a place of safety for refugees. Each claim for asylum is carefully considered and where it is found that individuals are in need of protection, asylum is given.
Asylum seekers are allowed to work if their claim has not been decided after 12 months through no fault of their own. Those allowed to work are restricted to jobs on the shortage occupation list. This is a fair and reasonable policy, for it is important to protect the resident labour market, and we must ensure that access to jobs is prioritised for British citizens and those with leave to remain here, which includes refugees.
The current policy strikes the right balance, being equitable towards asylum seekers, consistent with our international obligations while taking into account the rights and needs of our society as a whole.
Fully furnished and equipped accommodation is provided to asylum seekers with no utility bills or Council Tax to pay. Access to healthcare and schooling is free. In addition, while it is important to be mindful of the cost to the taxpayer, the Home Office periodically reviews cash payments to ensure they continue to meet essential living needs. Following such a review, the amount someone claiming asylum support is now £37.75 per week for each person in the household.

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