Asylum Seekers face destitution

Refugee advocates describe cuts, which will affect up to 100 people, as ‘calculated cruelty to vulnerable people’

Helen Davidson – The Guardian – 17 may 2018

The federal government is taking away income support and housing from up to 100 refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru who are currently in Australia for medical treatment.

The group, which includes families, elderly people and pregnant women, are among the more than 400 known as the “Let Them Stay” group, and the more than 260 that were party to a high court challenge in 2016.

They now face being forced into destitution, support services have said.

Refugee sources said the group was largely made up of family groups and elderly people. Many have serious physical and mental ill health. Support services fear they will be unable to work, and that others who are elderly or have dependents will be unable to find work.

The group includes more than 60 people from families with children under 18. They will be given six weeks to find new accommodation and work before they are cut off from income support – of about $200 a fortnight – while others will have three weeks to find new accommodation and will be cut off from income support immediately.

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