Swindon City of Sanctuary were invited to attend the Sanctuary in Parliament Event on 28/11/17 in the Committee Rooms inside the Palace of Westminster. The event was titled ‘Dignity not Destitution’, and was organised by City of Sanctuary and Asylum Matters, also attended by Refugee Action, the British Red Cross and the NACCOM (No Accommodation) network.
The group met and chatted with MPs Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland on the day, discussing issues that affect refugees and asylum seekers.
The proprosals put forward aim to prevent poverty and the risk of homelessness for those seeking refuge in the UK – both currently very prevalent issues.
The main proposal is to grant any asylum seeker who has been waiting for a decision on their case for over 6 months (the Home Office target period) permission to work in any sector. At present permission may only be granted after 12 months for those who fit the government’s very restrictive shortage occupation list – which includes professional ballet dancers and geologists, skills which very few British people have!
This proposal would bring the UK in line with the approach taken by the majority of European countries and Canada – none of whom have seen an increase in false claims by economic migrants as a result.
(a return to the policy of pre-2015) to reduce poverty.
The increased costs of the two secondary proposals are more than met by the savings of eliminating asylum support payments for those who would be able to work instead, and with the increased tax revenue and enhanced mental wellbeing, the overall benefits are clear to see.