Home Office ‘not fit’ to decide claims

Responsibility for decisions on asylum applications should be
switched from the Home Office to an independent agency, say the
Liberal Democrats.

Home affairs spokesperson Mark Oaten told the party’s conference in
Bournemouth this week that the Home Office was “not fit” to have
day-to-day responsibility for asylum, as 20 per cent of failed
applications were overturned on appeal.

He said the Liberal Democrats would allow asylum seekers to work
two months after making an application. This would improve
integration, lower community tensions and reduce dependence on
benefits and social housing.

Other policies due to be debated at the conference this week
include provision of free personal care for older people and
disabled people. Clear statutory guidance would also be issued on
eligibility for NHS continuing care to ensure the same rules are
applied throughout England.

Further measures include scrapping chancellor Gordon Brown’s
£1bn “baby bonds” scheme for children born since September
2002. The money saved would be used on early years education and

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