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calls for a review

Asylum seeker allowance unchanged in 18 years

Published onsdag 15 augusti 2012 kl 08.47
Hard to get by, Photo: Andreas Hedfors/Sveriges Radio

Swedish Radio News reports that two of the four parties in Sweden’s coalition government want to increase the allowance granted to asylum seekers here, which has not been raised in 18 years.

During the period the allowance has remained unchanged, the consumer price index has risen by 26 percent, and according to the Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups many asylum seekers have a hard time surviving without help from charities.

More than 25,000 people apply for asylum in Sweden every year. To keep them alive during the process they are granted an allowance.

Swedish Radio News talked to asylum seeker Assanatou Sidibé. She says it’s difficult to be a single mother with four children. Sometimes, she says, there isn’t enough to buy food or milk.

Assanatou Sidibé lives in a refugee facility which is rent-free. But her allowance is just over the equivalent of  900 US dollars a month, and that has to pay for medicine, travel, food, clothing, and other costs for herself and the children.

Swedish Radio News reports that two of the four parties in Sweden’s coalition government now want to increase the allowance granted to asylum seekers here.

Ulf Nilsson is the Liberal party’s spokesperson on immigration issues. He says it’s time for officials at the migration ministry to look into the issue. In his opinion the allowance needs to be increased.

Emma Henriksson, parliamentary group secretary for the Christian Democrats, agrees, and tells Swedish Radio News the current allowance level is too low, and ought to be adjusted since the national standard for welfare benefits in Sweden was recently increased.

But they are just two of the parties in the government. The other two, the conservative Moderates and the Center Party, are opposed to such a reform.

Fredrick Federley, a prominent Center Party MP, tells Swedish Radio News that in the current situation this isn’t a priority. What is more important, Fredrick Federley says, is making sure refuge is provided for those who need it.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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