The Court has found that the decision of the Home Secretary to freeze the rate of benefit (asylum support) paid to asylum seekers, without any increase for inflation for the second year running, was irrational. The single adult rate is only £36 per week. The Court has held that the S of S failed to make the reasonable inquiries necessary to determine whether the amount payable is sufficient to meet the essential living needs of asylum seekers, and wrongly left out of account a number of essential needs, including babies’ nappies, and the need for some form of social interaction to enable asylum seekers to live a dignified life. The decision has been quashed, and the Home Secretary has been ordered to reconsider the rate of benefit necessary to meet essential living needs.
The full judgment can be read here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2014/1033.html
Dinah Rose QC led for the Claimant, Refugee Action, instructed by Sonal Ghelani of Migrant Justice, Islington Law Centre.