How many failed asylum seekers resident in (a) Glasgow, Cathcart and (b) the United Kingdom are in receipt of hard case payments; and if he will make a statement.
According to provisional management information, as at
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer, because it flatly contradicts those who criticise the Government for leaving failed asylum seekers without accommodation or any income. In fact, the truth is that those who do not have a legitimate claim for asylum in this country can claim hard case payments provided that they co-operate with the authorities for their eventual return home. Will my hon. Friend highlight and improve awareness of the hard case payment scheme, and assure the House that finance is in place to meet any substantial consequent increase in take-up?
Failed asylum seekers are expected to leave the UK, and there is nothing to stop the vast majority of them from so doing. When they do not leave and it is appropriate that they should be removed, it is the responsibility of Government to remove them. The issue was raised earlier in questions, and the improvement in removals was recognised. Indeed, it was recognised by Mr. Malins, who speaks on these issues on behalf of the official Opposition, in a debate in Westminster Hall in July, when he said that he had no further advice for the Government in this area. I think that even he would agree that working on a supportive basis under section 4 with people who genuinely cannot leave is the appropriate thing to do. We in Government are happy to provide that support as long as those failed asylum seekers continue to co-operate with us.