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Senior Tories accused of ‘distorting’ truth over ‘inaccurate’ reports of £1,600 payment for asylum seekers in Wales

19 Apr 2023 8 minute read
Asylum seekers arriving (Photo: Gareth Fuller) Inset left: Andrew RT Davies – Inset right: David TC Davies

Emily Price – News Editor

Senior Tories have been accused of “distorting” the truth over inaccurate reports in the English press that the Welsh Government plans to give asylum seekers a monthly £1,600 hand out.

On Tuesday, the Sun reported it had received a leaked letter regarding an asylum seeker policy which had been signed by three Welsh ministers – Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, Mick Antoniw and Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan.

Since yesterday, reports have been gathering pace in the English press that have claimed under new Welsh Government plans, asylum seekers would receive £1,600 a month in benefits as well as legal aid to fight deportation.

The article in the Sun entitled “MIGRANT CASH Asylum-seekers in Wales will get a £1,600 monthly hand-out and taxpayer cash to fight deportation under Labour plans” reported that ministers in Cardiff were seeking approval from Whitehall for the policy be given the go ahead.

Leader of the Welsh Conservative, Andrew RT Davies and Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies both criticised the supposed plans and the latter appeared on GB news to vent his frustration.

However, the letter – which has been obtained by Nation.Cymru – was not an attempt to create a new asylum seeker policy, but involved three Welsh ministers seeking clarification on a pilot that already exists in Wales regarding 18-year-old care leavers.

The Welsh Government launched the Basic Income for Care Leavers scheme in July 2022 which ensures eligible young people leaving the care system receive £1,600 a month for the first 24 months of leaving care.

The Basic Income for Care Leavers only focuses on the category of care leavers which does include some unaccompanied asylum seeking children who were looked after by a local authority up until the age of 18.

The inclusion of asylum seeker children who were raised in care was always a factor that had been budgeted for by the Welsh Government from the outset of the pilot.

Eligibility for the scheme has not changed since it was set out in a written statement by the Welsh Government in February 2022.

Although it has not yet confirmed how many young asylum seekers leave care on average every year, a Welsh Government source said the number is “a very small proportion of those taking part in the pilot”.

Legal aid

In the letter leaked to the Sun, the three Welsh ministers called for clarity as due to the amount of income received through the pilot, it is unlikely that asylum seeking children leaving care would qualify for legal aid – which most asylum seekers are eligible for to support them with their asylum claim.

As legal aid is non-devolved, the Counsel General, Deputy Minister for Social Services and Minister for Social Justice sought confirmation on the UK Government’s position and asked whether an approach can be agreed that will enable young people in receipt of the basic income to be able to access legal aid support.

Welsh Tory leader, Andrew RT Davies appeared as a guest on GB News on Tuesday morning regarding the claims made in the Sun.

During his interview, RT Davies accused the Welsh Government of “creating an even bigger pull factor to bring people across the Channel”.

The Tory leader claimed the members of the Welsh Parliament hadn’t been informed on the details of the pilot – even though it was reported on in the Welsh press during the scheme’s launch last year and information is readily available on the Welsh Government website.

RT Davies said: “One of the first things that people crossing the Channel illegally do is destroy their identity papers so its difficult to identity the true age of someone.

“Here you have the Welsh Labour Government which is propped up by Plaid Cymru here in Wales dishing out £1,600 a month to anyone who wants to rock up and claim it crossing the Channel illegally.

During his interview, RT Davies described the £1,600 payment as a scheme for 18 year old migrants and did not give any context to the fact the pilot was for all eligible young people leaving care.

RT Davies later shared a screen grab of the Sun’s story on Twitter in a post that read: “This plan from Labour is genuinely one of the most extreme policies I’ve ever seen. Thank goodness we have a Conservative Government to step in and block it.”

One of the letter’s signatories, Mick Antoniw hit back at Davies saying: “But you know this is an inaccurate and distorted story. Are you really so desperate electorally?”

Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies, also vented his anger at the Sun’s report of the care leaver policy with a post that read: “Incentivising illegal migrants to risk their lives by crossing the Channel in exchange for taxpayers’ cash is wrong, dangerous and hugely irresponsible. That is why I have denied the Welsh Labour Government their request.”

Mr Antoniw pointed out the request for clarification on the existing pilot did not require his permission.

He said: “This is nothing to do with you. No request has been made to you. Your permission is not required for anything. The Sun report is inaccurate and a distortion. You probably know this.”

“Not fair”

TC Davies told the Commons on Wednesday it was “extraordinary” to offer universal basic income to asylum seekers.

Stephen Crabb, chairman of the Welsh Affairs Committee said: “What is not fair to the taxpayer is giving people free cash, including young asylum seekers, no strings attached, through a poorly targeted universal basic income. Isn’t that not what responsible welfare is all about?”

Mr TC Davies said: “(Mr Crabb) is absolutely correct. And it really is extraordinary that the Welsh Labour Party want to spend millions on handing out a universal basic income to people including asylum seekers, and then not only that, but to then exempt them from having to pay the same legal bills that the rest of us would be subject to.”

Conservative MP Tom Hunt (Ipswich) said: “It speaks to the kind of values that the Labour Party have, that they are prioritising providing huge support for those who have illegally entered our country over maximising cost-of-living support for Welsh citizens.”

Mr TC Davies said: “The humanitarian response is to disincentivise people from risking their lives by crossing the Channel illegally and arriving here in small boats.

“And that’s why last night I jointly signed a letter which rejected what the Welsh Labour Government are asking for.

“We’re not prepared to see the Welsh Labour government handing out universal basic incomes to people who shouldn’t be in this country in the first place, and then on top of that to provide them with legal funding and lawyers so that they can challenge the decision being made by the Government.

“These are not the priorities that the Welsh people have.”

“Illegal migrants”

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak said the pilot could incentivise people smuggling.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Conservative MP Chris Clarkson (Heywood and Middleton) said: “It has been reported that the Welsh Labour Government is going to incentivise people smugglers by offering £1,600 of taxpayers’ money every month to asylum seekers.

“Can I ask him for an assurance that he will never contemplate such a daft idea in our Small Boats Bill?”

Mr Sunak replied: “I know Lord Bellamy and the Secretary of State for Wales wrote to the Welsh Government yesterday confirming that we would not be undertaking their request.”

In an attempt to link Sir Keir Starmer with Mark Drakeford’s administration in Wales, the Prime Minister added: “I note that the Labour leader has said that the Welsh Labour Government is his blueprint, and unbelievably as (Mr Clarkson) has said Labour in Wales are trying to pay illegal migrants £1,600.

“We are stopping the boats, Labour is paying for them.”

“Properly supported”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We believe that care leavers have a right to be properly supported as they develop into independent young adults. Too many young people leaving care continue to face significant barriers
to achieving a successful transition into adulthood than many of their peers.

“In line with our Nation of Sanctuary approach, we want to ensure that Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children are supported to rebuild their lives and are not prevented from accessing appropriate Welsh Government schemes and benefits to support their integration.

“The Basic Income Pilot scheme is about giving the most vulnerable people in our society a start in life. It is disappointing that inaccurate and misleading claims are being used to trivialise these sensitive issues.”


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Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
10 months ago

Oh – the S*n distorted the truth in the interests of a hate story.

How novel!

They and the Daily Heil are the papers’ equivalent of Fox News.

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
10 months ago

Wyt ti’n siarad Cymraeg rŵan?

Chris
Chris
10 months ago

Do, siarad Cymraeg, ond ddim yn fawr iawn. Unfortunately my school never took it seriously so alot of us we’re never able to learn, I try my hardest to learn alongside my children as I want them to be fully aware of there own cultural heritage and those who came before them.

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
10 months ago

This is only aimed at ‘unaccompanied children’ NOT everyone. He needs to read the text as well as the headline! Who is happy to see displaced children uncared for?

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
10 months ago

I suppose you don’t have any problems with the Immigrant staff working for The NHS, even Enoch Powell when he was Health Minister issued Passports to people from The Caribbean to come and work in The NHS.

John
John
10 months ago

Gweision y diafol yw’r Toriaid hyn.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
10 months ago

They say the best form of Defence is ATTACK and that is just what the scum party are doing to hide their mess they have had a right go In Parliament today Welsh tory MP,s in all the Tory supporting Rags they have gone into meltdown attacking all thinga Welsh

Gareth
Gareth
10 months ago

On another thread you claimed the gov was working against white British culture, including farmers now are you. Do you by any chance lean towards the far right, you are giving all the signs of it.

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Apparently but only because I’m actually right 👍 do some actual research and tell me white populations aren’t being displaced.

Gareth
Gareth
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris

What about the 57 people on this scheme that identified as English, are they part of the problem for you, or is it only people who are not white?

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Identify as, means nothing anymore I could identify as Gwen and you’d have to accept that by your leftest ideology, but yes immigrants are more desirable from White European nations as they have higher average IQ, aren’t as prone to violence or crime and share a history and culture with us. Celtic isn’t Welsh it’s European.

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Plus real Welshmen are more right orientated. We’re a nation of people with strong family values and peaceful naturally beautiful communities built by hard working White people over many generations, hardly wrong for wanting to preserve everything we got right.

CapM
CapM
10 months ago

They’re getting worse. Desperate, dishonest and drunk on the attention they’re getting.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
10 months ago

Calling it Distorting the truth i use another word LIES

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
10 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Tory lies! Yes, and it makes you wonder how the two Daviess who are in some way responsible for Cymru in different roles were not aware of the Basic Income Pilot Scheme. It has been discussed in NC on a number of occasions so I know about it but why not the two professional politicians? Do they never bother to keep tabs on what is happen in the country they love to hate? Sad to see the comments from Chris up the page. I fear that he has spent too much time immersed in far right propaganda. Perhaps he needs… Read more »

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

No propaganda not watched telly or social media for years, all real life experience as I’ve lived all over Britain and seen things with my own eyes. Propaganda is that rubbish you hear on television in the papers and from social media which is all controlled and regulated by the powers who be. Our media is about as free as Russia’s and our population is just as brainwashed as them. The saddest thing is Welsh people being racist to English, crying about the Welsh language and there culture yet are happy to settle massive amounts of immigrants. Your anti British,… Read more »

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Good values and Peace but certainly not White Supremacy Claptrap.

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

Show me a peaceful black British community

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris

What are you trying to imply Chris?

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Also Welsh history and culture is White history and culture, dispute it as much as want but facts are facts. Bet you believe a man can be a woman to dangerous thinking from the left.

Last edited 10 months ago by Chris
Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris

You must be very angry at the fact That Paul Robeson played an integral part in The History of Cymru.

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

An American communist? Yeah my ancestors were slaving away in the slate mines up North, ordinary white Welsh people are this nations history. The way you all spit on your ancestors is disgusting have no right to call yourselves Welsh.

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

People in very Welsh speaking areas need to start selling to non British families diversify you a bit, be funny when they brand Cymraeg racist because they struggle to understand it but that’s already happening around Cardiff Bay.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris

I think it fair to say that you are a white supremacist

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Such a poor argument back, no genuine argument so straight to the facist white supremacist rubbish. Used to be called patriotism something we’re not allowed to feel anymore. You can’t deny history or the truth no matter how much you bury your head in the sand.

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Also white supremacy means I’d believe whites should own and control everything, I believe in quite the opposite, local native people should always control there own country no matter what part of the world.

Iago Prydderch
Iago Prydderch
10 months ago

If this has been distorted why is the BBC saying, “The Welsh government has said it wanted to help young asylum seekers rebuild their lives.”? Even the left-wing LBC is reporting it. What reasonable excuse could be given by any government for dishing out that amount of money to anyone when many full time workers don’t even earn that? This will attract thousands into Wales and put even more strain on our public services. The Welsh Labour government are so blinded by their internationalist ideology they can’t see further than the end of their nose. Wales needs a change of… Read more »

Chris
Chris
10 months ago
Reply to  Iago Prydderch

You beautiful human, it’s so refreshing to see someone who can actually see through all this leftist propaganda that’s destroying everything our ancestors built for us. They don’t help our own like this, extortionate rents, stupidly high house prices, lack of affordable homes, poorly paid jobs, poor roads with little to no public transport and a lack of functional Industry. Drakeford and Labour are keen followers of the WEF and there dangerous ideology.

Jonathan Dean
Jonathan Dean
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris

“They don’t help our own like this …”, well, with unaccompanied asylum seeking children brought up in care being a very small proportion of the total, that is exactly what they do do

The original mark
The original mark
10 months ago
Reply to  Iago Prydderch

Left Wing LBC, ha ha ha, you absolute clown,

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
10 months ago

The amount is not £1600, it is less than that. It is for children leaving care as young adults. That means the child, an immigrant of origin or not, was once in the care of a local authotity and so entitled to the basic income offered. The Tories are just cruel and heartless and care little for anything other than gaining that extra vote to keep their corrupted selves in power. They should look in the mirror and drop their heads in shame.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

When they do look in a mirror they see no reflection so ….?!

Windy
Windy
10 months ago

The CONservapress and party rely on the fact that some people somewhere will believe the lies they produce

Julie Jones
Julie Jones
10 months ago

Disgraceful accusation. The Tories would never lie. There has never been a single shred of evidence of any Conservative distorting the facts throughout history. Why do Cultural Marxists always have a go at them?

Jonathan Dean
Jonathan Dean
10 months ago

So in summary, Arty and Top Cat have misunderstood what is going on in Wales

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