Earned Citizenship

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 20th February 2008.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Home Secretary 12:31 pm, 20th February 2008

My hon. Friend is right. We recognise that many people—including those who are already in this country and those who wish to come here—want to obey the law and wish to make a contribution economically and to their local communities, and we want to acknowledge that in the speed with which they can move through the system to become British citizens.

The point about the fund is of course important. Because of some of the transition issues that my hon. Friend has identified, colleagues in the Department for Children, Schools and Families have ensured through mainstream funding that there is a fund available for, in particular, those schools that experience a quick change in numbers in-year. That is already being recognised. The question is whether, in addition, it makes sense for us to add a small premium to the application fees so that we can further recognise that impact. I believe that that will make a contribution.