Socialist Worker

'Totally inhumane'

Issue No. 1760

'Totally inhumane'

HOME SECRETARY David Blunkett looks set to try and head off opposition to the government's persecution of asylum seekers by ending the hated voucher scheme. But leaked reports suggest he will refuse to restore cash benefits to refugees. Scrapping vouchers, which refugees have been forced to use to obtain all the basic goods needed for survival, would be testimony to the determined campaign waged against them.

But campaigners are worried that in some areas Blunkett is proving even harsher in his treatment of refugees than his predecessor, Jack Straw.

He has introduced a savage new rule. This means any refugee who does not instantly travel to a town allocated to them under the government's "dispersal" scheme will have all benefits, including vouchers and the right to housing, removed. Nick Hardwick of the Refugee Council says the new rule is "totally inhumane".

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Sat 4 Aug 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1760
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