Ruth Maguire MSP has added her support to the Scottish Government’s call for support to be provided for people classed as having No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).

People who have lived and worked across the UK for many years face significant financial hardship under this immigration rule, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic which has already caused major disruption to the economy.

The SNP MSP said: “We cannot leave people who have made their homes in this country behind during this public health crisis.

“By shifting the burden of responsibility to mitigate the harm caused by NRPF to local authorities and devolved bodies who only have limited powers in this circumstance, many people will slip through the net and not receive the support they need.

“I echo the Scottish Government’s call for the UK Government to address the stark inequality in support available to people in our communities due to this policy.”

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has written to the Immigration Minister at Westminster, urging the UK Government to change the current legislation which is preventing people from accessing the support they need.

Ms Campbell said:

“People who have come to the UK to work, study, be with family, or who need a place of safety, must not be abandoned at this time of crisis. They must be included and appropriately supported as restrictions are lifted, if we are to ensure that our communities and economy can recover from this unprecedented situation and those people are not at risk, or risking others ’health.

“As we have seen both before and during the current pandemic, we are left in a position where the task of supporting people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) has been shifted to the Scottish Government and local authorities, using the limited powers we have to protect individuals and public health.

“There is a stark inequality in support available to people across our communities due to NRPF restrictions, and this is an issue that has been raised on countless occasions by the Scottish Ministers. Now that the PM has been made aware of the situation I hope we will see action.”