New Laws Cut Welfare Payments For Refugees

An estimated 12, 000 asylum seekers could have their welfare payments cut under a planned amendment to social services legislation. The changes will affect those living in Australia on bridging visas and awaiting the outcome of their asylum claims.

According to a spokeswoman for the Department of Home Affairs, those affected “are expected to support themselves while their immigration status is being resolved.”

However, refugee advocates have come together to oppose the cuts. Currently, asylum seekers claiming Status Resolution Support Service payments receive just $247 a week. Refugee advocates claim that the cuts will have flow-on effects that will restrict access to housing, food and medicine. One of the organisations spearheading opposition to the planned legislative changes is the Refugee Council of Australia. The Daily spoke to their Policy Director, Dr Joyce Chia, about how the cuts could affect refugees in Australia.

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