Lib dems pledge to move asylum decision making to independent agency

Responsibility for making decisions on asylum applications would be
removed from the Home Office and transferred to an independent
agency under proposals announced by the Liberal Democrats at their
party conference this week, writes Amy

Mark Oaten MP, the party’s home affairs spokesperson, said
that the Home Office was “not fit” to have day-to-day
responsibility for asylum with 20 per cent of refused asylum
applications being overturned on appeal.

He added that under the Liberal Democrats, asylum seekers would
be allowed to work two months after making an application to help
integration, lower community tensions and reduce dependence on
benefits and social housing.

Other policies due to be debated at the conference this week
include the provision of free personal care for older and disabled
people, as currently happens in Scotland. The party argues that the
policy would help to deliver a “more efficient service”
as it will break down “artificial barriers” between the
funding of health and social care.

It also pledges to ensure that eligibility for NHS continuing
care is based on the same rules throughout England by issuing clear
statutory guidance.

Further measures include scrapping Chancellor Gordon
Brown’s £1 billion Child Trust Fund scheme, which gives
“baby bonds” to every child born since September 2002,
and using the money for children’s early years’
education and support.

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