Posted: 06 April 2020

The Government must provide a lifeline for all

In recent weeks, we have seen the Coronavirus crisis touch the lives of people of all backgrounds across the country. But unfortunately, Government support fails to mirror the non-discriminatory way that this pandemic has affected our society.

Families fending for themselves

Right now, there are thousands of children in the UK who are facing extreme poverty and hunger because strict immigration rules prevent their families from accessing essential support.

Migrant families and young people who have not yet qualified for permanent residency have ‘no recourse to public funds’. This rule prevents them from accessing essential support such as Universal Credit, tax credits and housing support - even if they can't work during Coronavirus. 

 

This affects children who are British citizens, and those who were born here and know no other home. Young people who came to this country alone and young people who were trafficked here by criminal gangs.   

It affects parents who have been juggling zero-hour contract work, which they are now unable to continue due to social distancing measures. Parents who are key workers on the frontline, delivering essential services that are seeing our country though this difficult time.

What does this mean for children during the pandemic?

These children and young people are excluded from  much of the emergency support the Government has made available to help people through this crisis. Their families will not be able to access most benefits to support with food, housing and other basic needs. 

The Government is expecting local councils to stop these families from sinking into extreme poverty during the pandemic, but cash-strapped councils don’t have the resources. And the charities, foodbanks, and other crisis support services that these families would normally use are currently crippled by the strain of the current crisis. 

A lifeline for all

At a time of national emergency, the Government must step in and provide a lifeline for all. Children and families from all backgrounds should be able to access the vital support they desperately need at this time.

Join us in demanding the Government suspends this rule to ensure no child, young person or family is left with nothing to fall back on.

Email your MP

Once normal life resumes, these families will continue to be vulnerable to hardship and destitution unless and until the Government rethinks its whole approach to 'no recourse to public funds', and  we’ll continue to campaign for this.

You can find out more about the daily struggle faced by families subject to no recourse to public funds in our Talking Change podcast.

 

By Jazmin Glen
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