Sadiq Khan has urged the Prime Minister to allow more immigrants to access Universal Credit during the coronavirus crisis.
The London mayor wrote to Boris Johnson yesterday to ask for those with no recourse to public funds (NRPF), such as most non-EU immigrants, to be allowed to claim benefits while the UK is dealing with the economic fallout from Covid-19.
Khan said there were “tens of thousands of residents with NRPF”, including “delivery drivers, cleaners and NHS staff” who have already been laid-off and cannot access the government’s wage subsidy scheme.
The government will pay 80 per cent of peoples’ wages, up to £2500 a month, if they have been furloughed by their company during the crisis, however those who have been laid off are not eligible.
“Londoners with NRPF are at real risk of homelessness, have no way to access Universal Credit support when they lose their income, and their children are not eligible for support through free school meals,” Khan said.
A Home Office spokesperson said the government was “committed to doing whatever it takes to support people” and said there was some financial support available for people with NRPF.
“Measures we have brought forward such as rent and mortgage protections, and food vouchers are not considered public funds and can be accessed by migrants with leave to remain,” they said.