How do you live on £36.95 a week?
It’s a question that our clients seeking to remain in the UK grapple with every day. Those applying to remain here are not permitted to work while waiting for the outcome of their application. Those who have savings must live off them and those who are destitute are entitled to support with housing and an allowance of just £36.95 per person per week.
This works out at £1,921.40 a year – slightly more than 50% of the jobseeker’s allowance. This amount is intended to cover everything except housing and utility bills, which means food, washing detergents, bedding, transport, clothing, toiletries and all ‘extras’, from a TV licence through an internet connection and phone calls to family back home.
So our clients rely on assistance from the food bank (see our Summer newsletter for a feature on WTRRP’s role in preparing weekly food parcels) or heavily discounted food, second hand clothes, toys, books and other items donated from charities.
Could you live on £36.95 a week?
Adapted from article entitled ‘How do you live on £36.95 a week? Asylum seekers on surviving on their allowance’ published on theguardian.com on 21 August 2017.