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 3:15 pm on 27th January 2004.

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Photo of Mark Oaten Mark Oaten Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Home Affairs 3:15 pm, 27th January 2004

I am grateful. Although I do not necessarily agree with pilots for unsuccessful applicants, the lessons that are learned from pilots on the successful applicants should be transferred. In essence, a lot of that will be about the information and about how to get a good quality letter in the first instance, which should be easy to transfer to the unsuccessful cases. Indeed, it is probably slightly more important to get things right in those cases, because there will be a shorter period.

Finally, new clause 12 concerns, for want of a better word, domestic violence. I acknowledge how far the Government have gone in tackling the issue and I mentioned that when I moved the new clause. At the end of the day, however, the Government measures have a missing link, which is that, whatever assurances might be given, unless people have the financial security to take the bold decision to leave someone who is inflicting domestic violence, there will always be the risk that they will stay in a dangerous and unhappy marriage. However, the Minister outlined some of the work done under the supporting people programme. That programme cannot give the full financial support that would be available under the scheme that we propose in new clause 12. However, I hope that the discussions in which Baroness Scotland will be involved could introduce a slightly stronger financial package to ensure that individuals have the freedom to make that choice.

There has been a little progress. I am certainly pleased with the comments on back payments and domestic violence, but we shall have to agree to disagree on section 55. Given the Minister's tone and her comments on a number of the new clauses, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.