Wednesday, 21 October 2009

No recourse to public funds

I mentioned the No Recourse to Public Funds mass lobby of Parliament last week. Living up in the North, there's no chance of getting down to London on a weekday. Amnesty International have a page of alternative actions - here's the text of the letter to my local Councillors based on their suggestions.

Under the "no recourse to public funds" rule it is not possible for many non-citizens to claim benefits such as housing benefit and income support. An unpleasant consequence of this rule is that people trapped in an abusive relationship are often unable to use shelters for the victims of domestic violence, as they are unable to claim the benefits that the refuges use for funding, which would be available to UK citizens who were victims of domestic violence.

Could you please tell me:

  1. What measures Durham County Council has in place to ensure that victims of domestic violence who are affected by the "no recourse to public funds" rule are able to access the services that they require.
  2. What pressure the Council is placing on central government to ensure that its costs for providing these services are covered.
  3. What steps the Council plans to take more generally to improve the range of services available for victims of domestic violence.

WriteToThem provides contact forms for your Councillors as well as MPs, which makes this a bit easier.