Britain’s Home Office has written to local authorities telling them not to provide ‘luxury’ items, such as TVs and DVD players, to asylum seekers.
There has been criticism in recent months of the high standards of living asylum seekers are receiving at the expense of UK taxpayers. In January, auditors found “signs of wealth” in one in 10 properties inspected, including mobile phones, iPads and widescreen TVs.
The National Audit Office report also found many asylum seekers enjoying a lifestyle “well above the breadline” in Yorkshire, London and North West England. The authors said: “During the fieldwork for our investigation, we visited a sample of properties used to house asylum seekers.
“In some of these, it was clear that the occupants may have a level of income above that expected of someone receiving the minimum level of support…”
Now the Home Office has written to local authorities across the country telling them to only provide essential goods to asylum seekers. The Observer reports that Islington Council received the guidance, permitting it to provide “food storage, cooking and washing facilities” but saying it “should not include the provisions of other white goods and brown goods which could be considered luxury items”.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The guidance sets out that local authorities can provide food storage, cooking and washing facilities, including a fridge, cooker and toaster. Not included under the criteria ‘other white goods or brown goods’, are TVs, DVD players or any other electrical entertainment appliances.”
The guidance was issued days before Theresa May was accused of stealing UKIP’s lines on immigration in her speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. The Home Secretary told delegates that mass immigration was making it “impossible” to build a “cohesive society”.
“It’s difficult for schools and hospitals and core infrastructure like housing and transport to cope. And we know that for people in low-paid jobs, wages are forced down even further while some people are forced out of work altogether.”