Immigration Rules: Supported Accommodation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 16th December 2020.

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Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 12:45 pm, 16th December 2020

I have already given the assurance about destitution to the shadow Minister and to the Chair of the Select Committee. The right hon. Gentleman will know that the asylum system in general does provide support, accommodation and other support, the cost of which is getting on for £1 billion a year, so it is generous in nature. He talks about the refugee problem around the world, which we recognise. That is one reason why we spend a great deal of money on overseas aid. Even after the recent adjustment, that will still be many, many billions of pounds, probably in the region of £10 billion, which is more than almost every other country in the world, so we are doing our bit that way.

We are also doing our bit through the resettlement scheme, which I talked about earlier. It is the largest resettlement scheme of any European country—25,000 people over the past five years. Of course I accept that the people who choose to make their home in this country can, and very often do, make a significant contribution, which we welcome. That is why the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend Kevin Foster, set up the points-based immigration system with the Home Secretary, which went active very recently. It is essential that people either claiming asylum or entering the country for work and other purposes do so legally, and all Members of this House, including the former Leader of the Opposition, should be very clear with migrants in Europe that they should not attempt this dangerous crossing and they should not pay dangerous people smugglers. If they need protection, they should claim it where they are in Europe.