Benefit cuts for people seeking asylum can go ahead, at least in
the interim, as the High Court ruled that it did not have the power
to block changes announced by Social Security Secretary Peter
But the judicial review of the decision, brought by the Joint
Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and set for 1 April, may be
The JCWI argues the benefit restrictions breach Britain’s
obligations under the United Nations Convention on Refugees. The
review is to be heard concurrently with the challenge from the
London boroughs of Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham.
From the beginning of this month, those who do not apply for
asylum on entering Britain and those appealing a rejection of their
claim will be refused benefit. They will also lose rights to local
authority housing from July.
Hammersmith & Fulham estimates the changes will cost the
council an extra £4 million in the first year.