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Minister calls for asylum seekers’ work ban to be lifted

PUBLISHED: 07:05 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:35 05 October 2010

Fitzpatrick... appeal for asylum seekers

Fitzpatrick... appeal for asylum seekers

GOVERNMENT minister Jim Fitzpatrick has written to the Home Secretary pleading for “the large number of asylum seekers” in his East London constituency with barely enough cash to keep body and soul together

GOVERNMENT minister Jim Fitzpatrick has written to the Home Secretary pleading for “the large number of asylum seekers” in his East London constituency with barely enough cash to keep body and soul together.

The public was concerned about illegal immigrants taking advantage of a system, he concedes.

But they would not want people who actually have a job being told they cannot work while their case is pending and having to live on a few pounds a day, he believes.

His letter submitted to the Home Office review of financial support for refugees says: “It is unfathomable that a person who has a case outstanding who is not being asked to leave, who therefore has every right to be here at least until their case reaches an outcome, is expected to survive on so little.

“We are living in economically trying times. But I hope you will register the views of this Member of Parliament who will almost certainly be facing another gathering of adversely-affected constituents at his next advice surgery.”

The farming minister says he encounters many people in his Poplar & Canning Town constituency who have “no desire to be any burden whatsoever on the state,” but are not permitted to get jobs or retain existing employment, even though they are keen to earn a living.


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