21st Century London Outcasts: Welfare Reforms and Their Impacts on Refugee Families living in London
Kartallozi, Indira 2014. 21st Century London Outcasts: Welfare Reforms and Their Impacts on Refugee Families living in London. London University of East London, Centre for Social Justice and Change. https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.3851
University of East London, Centre for Social Justice and Change
This working paper highlights the findings of the research on impacts of the 2012 UK welfare reforms on refugee families living in London and argues that the perception of
a fair and equal society is being seriously undermined by the policies of the UK government that are meant to cultivate these ideals.
Systematic failures from public services are leaving many new refugee families destitute, without or with nsufficient support to meet their basic living needs.
The most serious threat comes from recent changes to the UK welfare system, combined with tougher sanctions and conditionality, which creates a more complex and inaccessible system.
The introduction of the Benefit Cap and the abolishing of means tested benefits are of particular significance, as a large number of new refugee households experience unemployment and are highly dependent on the welfare system. Loss of this income in households interviewed for the research has increased the levels of deprivation and poverty, in some households with devastating consequences. Homelessness is on the increase, and the unaffordability of housing in London is resulting in the forced removal of large refugee households to other (often deprived) areas of the UK. Besides the economic suffering, this research finds serious health impacts as well, including increased levels of distress and anxiety, severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, changes to the welfare system do not take into account the needs of refugee families and their
children and is damaging their prospects for successful future integration.