In March 2018, the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub [in Australia] experienced a surge in demand with a 100 per cent increase in the number of referrals for the month.
A higher than average number of referrals were also received in April and May.
Most of these referrals are for asylum seekers receiving basic support through the status resolution support services (SRSS) program while awaiting the outcome of their application for protection.
The reason for the increase? Changes to the SRSS program vulnerability criteria have been announced, which will result in withdrawal of the basic living allowance (89 per cent of Newstart), casework support, and trauma and torture counselling from anyone assessed as ‘job-ready’. Being job-ready is not the same as being able to find employment.
Many Australians are looking for work. When English is not your first language, you have had little or interrupted education, you have no employment history and only temporary work rights, you have serious barriers to employment success. Add to that the significant physical and mental health issues many asylum seekers suffer, and employment is unlikely.
How will they will pay their rent and feed themselves if they have no income?
We stand for compassionate treatment for asylum seekers.