From Iceland — Asylum Seekers Will Get Holiday Payments After All

Asylum Seekers Will Get Holiday Payments After All

Published December 19, 2017

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Minister of Justice Sigríður Andersen says she will introduce legislation that will see to it that asylum seekers receive their modest bonus before Sunday.

As reported, asylum seekers in Iceland are legally barred from working. They are housed in shelters and are given a weekly allowance of about 8,000 ISK per week; 5,000 ISK per child.

Normally in December, usually during the week Christmas falls on, these people are given an additional week’s allowance, but the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) sent an announcement to the municipalities of Reykjanesbær, Hafnarfjörður and Reykjavík that there would be no holiday payment to asylum seekers this year. RÚV now reports that Sigríður intends to change that.

“I have put forward, in cooperation with the Prime Minister, and will submit this at the government meeting tomorrow, that the government provide the funds that have been discussed for asylum seekers this week,” she said.

Sigríður said that these payments have not been a part of any formal agreement. Indeed, UTL cited a lack of written regulation on the matter for their reason that they would not be issuing payments this year. Sigríður expects the payments to be made before Christmas.

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