Ask the Expert: Does welfare support and labour market access ‘pull’ asylum seekers to the UK?

Our Ask The Expert series, in association with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), brings academic research on public policy into the heart of Westminster.

Asylum seekers in the UK do not routinely have the right to enter the labour market. In the absence of a right to work the government provide them with welfare support. Support levels are very low, around 50% of Job Seekers Allowance. Dr Lucy Mayblin spoke to the SMF about the main reason given by successive governments for these restrictions on the economic rights and entitlements of asylum seekers: that they act as pull factors for disingenuous applicants. What is the evidence to support this claim and do economic restrictions work as intended?

James Kirkup, Social Market Foundation

Dr Lucy MayblinSenior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Sheffield

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