For asylum seekers, who are given a paltry sum to live off by the Home Office, rising prices are set to make a desperate financial situation even worse.
UK inflation is rising at its fastest rate in three decades, resulting in a disaster for living standards. Food prices have surged: compared to last February, the cost of fruit has risen by 6.2 per cent, vegetables by 4.2 per cent, meat by 5.2 per cent and bread and cereals by 4.9 per cent, while wheat shortages sparked by the war in Ukraine are expected to push prices even higher. It’s a similar story for other essentials, with clothing and footwear costs increasing by up to 8.8 per cent in the same period.
Price increases always hit the most vulnerable in society the hardest. And for asylum seekers like 26-year-old Jannat*, who are banned from working under the UK’s immigration rules and given just £5.84 a day to live on, it’s made what was already a desperately tough financial situation even worse. “Even if it’s a 20p increase, it makes a huge difference in our budget,” she says.
The UK’s economic picture is only expected to worsen, with the Bank of England predicting that inflation will soon reach eight per cent. Yet the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement lacked any measures that will make a difference to people seeking asylum.