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Hostile environment policy found unlawful for fifth time

A HOSTILE environment policy blamed for pushing thousands of children into poverty has been found unlawful for a fifth time, prompting fresh calls for the rule to be scrapped. 

The no recourse to public funds (NRPF) rule, introduced in 2012 as part of the Tory government’s raft of anti-immigration measures, shuts out millions of migrants from accessing the majority of state benefits. 

Earlier this week, the condition was ruled unlawful again by the High Court in a case brought by a mother and her two British children on the basis that it still fails to comply with the legal obligation to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

This makes it the fifth time that the NRPF rule has been found to be unlawful, following on from a similar ruling last year. 

On each occasion the Home Office changed its policy in response to the judgements, but the substance of it remained in place, law firm Deighton Pierce Glyn, which represented the family, said. 

Charity Praxis’s policy and public affairs manager Josephine Whitaker-Yilmaz said: “Rather than tinkering around the edges, government should scrap this damaging policy immediately. 

“Everyone should have access to a safety net regardless of their immigration status, especially at a time when rapidly rising prices are pushing thousands into deep poverty.”

Anna Berry, a member of the NRPF Action Group, claimed the policy was “intended to keep people constantly in a cycle of poverty” and should be scrapped. 

 ”We’re so happy to hear that courts are finding no recourse to public funds unlawful, once again,” she added. “It shows there is progress and our voices are heard in courts.”

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