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Chair writes to Prime Minister following Liaison Committee session

28 May 2020

Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee Stephen Timms has written to the Prime Minister with further questions about the lack of support available during the coronavirus pandemic for people whose immigration status means that they have no recourse to public funds.

During this afternoon's Liaison Committee session with Boris Johnson, Mr Timms highlighted the problems faced by people, including families with children born in the UK, who despite having leave to remain in the UK are unable to access benefits such as Universal Credit. 

At the meeting, the Prime Minister promised to investigate how many people were in that situation and what the Government could do to help them. The exchange between Mr Timms and the Prime Minister can be viewed here (from 16:59:55). The letter to the Prime Minister is attached.

Chair's comments

Rt Hon Stephen Timms, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

“Our social security system should be a safety net that protects people from destitution. But for hundreds of thousands of people who live and work in the UK legally, and for their children, it offers no support at all. In the midst of a global pandemic, with so many people prevented from working through no fault of their own, there is an urgent need for Government action. For two months, Ministers have been promising to act, but we've seen no substantial change.

The Prime Minister was clearly surprised to hear that people in this situation can't claim Universal Credit or other benefits – so I am hopeful that he will now put his foot on the accelerator and offer much needed support to people facing financial hardship.” 

Further information

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