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Press releases and statements about HIV and related topics

Despite High Court ruling the Home Secretary refuses to act on asylum seekers benefits.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NAT is extremely disappointed to hear that a Home Office review of the asylum support system has found that there is no need to make any increase on the support currently provided to destitute asylum seekers. Insufficient asylum support is one of the key drivers of extreme poverty amongst people living with HIV in the UK. Since 2010, NAT has been calling on the Government to increase asylum support rates to be equivalent to the rate of Income Support. 

Yusef Azad, Director of Policy and Campaigns, says: “The Home Office’s review has concluded that destitute asylum seekers can get by on exactly the same amount as they are currently provided - £5 a day.  Asylum seekers living with HIV simply cannot survive on only half of what the Government considers appropriate to support all other low-income groups in our society.  To be told that this group only need £23 a week for food and £3 for transport is nonsense, when we hear regularly from HIV doctors that lack of food and inability to pay to travel to appointments is seriously undermining the ability of NHS services to keep destitute asylum seekers with HIV healthy.  We hear from HIV support services who face greater pressure, year-on-year, to meet the basic human needs of this vulnerable group of people, and this is simply not right.”

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