New Clause 9 - Late claim for asylum: refusal of support: appeals

Part of Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 27th January 2004.

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Photo of Beverley Hughes Beverley Hughes Minister of State (Citizenship and Immigration), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-Terrorism) 2:45 pm, 27th January 2004

I am sympathetic on that point, and I had considered making a decision on that question today. However, because the legal advice from counsel is imminent—it is due in the next two weeks—and because I should be able to make a decision on the matter in the round by the end of February, I do not want to prejudice other options that might be available to me in relation to different circumstances in which asylum seekers themselves may be responsible. I do not want to go further than that today, but I am very sympathetic to the hon. Gentleman's point.

In the case of an NASS mistake, it is unreasonable not to make back payments, but I would rather get the complete legal advice before making my decision, which I hope to do in the next four to six weeks. We have developed operational plans to resolve the backlog of back payments within four months; those

payments have been stopped during the last few months because we have been seeking clarification on the legal position.