ASYLUM seekers should be allowed to work to allow them to support themselves and pay taxes, councillors in Glasgow have said.

SNP, Labour and Green councillors united to call on the UK Government to lift the ban on people being able to work.

Roza Salih, SNP councillor, brought the motion to the council highlighting her own family’s experience as asylum seekers.

She said it was damaging not only financially but had an adverse impact on the health of people left with not enough to live on and was leading to illegal work and exploitation.

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Councillor Salih said: “All people seeking protection in the UK should be able to work, make the most of their potential and provide for themselves and their families, similar to Ukrainians who have the Right to Work.

“Restrictions on the right to work can lead to extremely poor mental health outcomes, and a waste of potentially invaluable talents and skills both for the economy and wider society, enabling them to integrate in their local community.”

Councillor Salih, who came to Scotland with her parents as asylum seekers in 2002, said: “Asylum seekers are human beings.

“I have lived experience of being an asylum seeker and asylum seekers being excluded from the rest of society.”

She told of her father being unable to work having an impact on him.

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She said: “As a child, I could see the effect on his mental health unable to provide for his family” adding it was only after eight years her family got full refugee status.

The councillor, who was one of the celebrated Glasgow Girls from Drumchapel, and stood up against dawn raids on the homes of their friends said: “We have a labour shortage and an ageing population, this is an opportunity.”

Other countries she said allowed asylum seekers to work, including Canada, the USA and Germany, noting that the policy cost the UK £1bn over the last decade.

The idea of giving asylum seekers the right to work had, she said, support from businesses.

The motion stated the Urban AGE 2022 report, on Scotland’s biggest cities, supported by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce called for immigration policy to be devolved.

It would according to the report “ensure cities and regions have access to the workforce they need to prosper and requisite skills and labour force to deliver on our climate pledges.”

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She said because there is no legal right to work people are being “Exploited by employers because they don’t have right to work.

“This would be the best thing to do to lift the ban

“If there is a political will there will be changes.”

Labour supported the call.

Keiran O’Neill, Maryhill councillor, said No Recourse to Public Funds, was the “cruellest policy any government can introduce” and blamed it on the “ideological bigotry of the Tories

The Greens also supported the motion and called for asylum seekers to be given free public transport, with the £5.84 a day allowance little more than the cost of a day ticket on the bus.