THE Tory government is facing calls to scrap a policy that excludes people subject to immigration controls from accessing certain welfare support payments.

The SNP’s home affairs spokesperson has demanded the UK Government ditch their “callous” no recourse to public funds (NRPF) policy, which, according to the party, keeps people in poverty.

The policy excludes people who are subject to immigration control from accessing welfare support including Universal Credit and housing assistance – and leaves asylum seekers relying on a £6 a day payment.

People without settled status, immigrants, and asylum seekers are all within the scope of the policy, with almost 1.4 million people and around 175,000 children across the UK being impacted.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss has warned that people who cannot access support amid the cost of living crisis are needing to make the amount they receive go further and has urged the UK Government to get rid of the policy for good.

Commenting, Thewliss said that the policy is “punishing some of the most vulnerable people in our society”, adding that it “must be scrapped”.

She continued: “Getting rid of the cruel policy is now particularly important given the Energy Bills Support Scheme could be scrapped in April, with only those on means-tested benefits eligible for energy bill support going forward.

"NRPF households were eligible for this £400 rebate but with it being scrapped, and unable to access welfare support, they will face an average increase in energy costs of £900 a year.

"Tory ministers should be doing all they can to support people through this crisis, especially those who need it most. Instead, they are exacerbating it by remaining wedded to poverty-inducing policies such as NRPF.

Thewliss added: “Many who are impacted by NRPF rules have lived, worked and contributed to British society for years and they deserve better. And so does Scotland. Independence is the only way we can bring an end to these cruel policies and create a fairer society in Scotland.”

A government spokesperson said: “The provision of no recourse to public funds has been upheld by successive governments and maintains that those coming to the UK should do so on a basis that prevents burdens on the taxpayer. 

“However, strong and important safeguards have been put in place to ensure the vulnerable can receive support, including migrants who are destitute and have community care needs, or where there is a risk to the wellbeing of a child.”