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 2:30 pm on 27th January 2004.

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Photo of Andrew Turner Andrew Turner Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 2:30 pm, 27th January 2004

The cost of the emergency treatment is exempt from ineligibility, as covered by subsection (1) of the proposed new clause. However, it is a matter of judgment for the Committee whether such people should benefit from services such as the ongoing treatment provided once the individual is stabilised and there is no emergency. Our constituents make that judgment every time they read the Daily Mail. I gave that example because all sorts of other services are available to people whether or not they have the right to be in this country. The belief was that the Bill would exclude them from the receipt of such services, but a close reading of clause 7 shows that it does not.

The second group worth discussing is nationals of European economic area countries who come to this country and benefit from our welfare services. They come from countries that do not extend to our nationals, should they visit them, benefits equivalent to those available to them in this country. That includes some European Union countries, and it is likely to extend when the eastern European countries join the EU later this year. I should like the Minister to justify why people should continue to receive that benefit on a very unequal basis.