To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 10 May 2018 to Question 140986, when the alignment of subsistence rates for victims of trafficking with asylum seekers is planed to take place; and what the new subsistence rates are to be set at for victims of modern slavery supported by the National Referral Mechanism living in (a) accommodation in a safe house with food provided and (b) a safe house where they purchase their own food who (i) have applied for asylum and (ii) are receiving outreach support.
We have not yet announced a date for the alignment of subsistence rates and we will set this out in due course, when we have finalised the specific details around the implementation. We are working closely with stakeholders to ensure that this happens as smoothly as possible. The overall amount of money available for supporting victims of modern slavery will not fall, but by making these changes more money is being made available to treble the period of “move on” support, which will happen at the same time, and will help people leaving victim support with their transition to other arrangements.
When considering the level of these rates, the essential needs of potential victims were assessed to be comparable to the needs of asylum seekers. This is why the tested and established methodology that has been developed to measure the level of subsistence for asylum seekers will be adopted to measure the level of subsistence for potential victims of modern slavery. The rate is reassessed annually, and in 2018 was increased to £37.75. Where it has been identified that victims of slavery have needs above those of asylum seekers or have additional entitlements under the Council of Europe Convention Against Trafficking in Human Beings, these needs are met within the existing Adult Victims of Modern Slavery Care Contract. The methodology includes an allowance for individuals to purchase their food, and this will be taken into consideration when considering the level of subsistence for potential victims who live in catered accommodation, to ensure consistency throughout support.
Victims will continue to receive dedicated and expert support, which is tailored to their unique needs as victims of modern slavery. This includes access to legal aid, counselling, NHS medical and dental services. This will ensure there is a consistent approach for all individuals receiving similar government support. It is also essential that we target support to confirmed victims, at the point they need it most.
We are working closely with the Salvation Army and the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to ensure that the implementation of this change is as smooth as possible.