Local councils should not be landed with the bill for Ukrainian refugees, says Sheffield MP

The Government, not local councils, should foot the bill for supporting Ukrainian refugees, says a Sheffield MP.

Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 5:35 pm

Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East, has urged the Government not to leave local authorities with the costs of its refugee programme to help Ukrainians flee to the UK.He has called on the Home Secretary to give local authorities the necessary funding to support and house any Ukrainians coming to the UK under the new scheme.Speaking in the Commons, Mr Betts said: “Receiving refugees here is the first step, how we treat them is just as important.”

He has requested a further update from the Government urgently about the provision for refugees with their accommodation, education and mental health support.

The Home Secretary assured more work would be going into the new scheme, but made no promises around support for councils.

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Sheffield councillors at a rally in support of Ukraine.

Mr Betts MP said after the debate: “While I want to welcome the Home Secretary’s response, we have been here before.

“Vague commitments are made about supporting local authorities, schools and refugees but then it never actually materialises in extra funding.

“This leaves local authorities with a huge increase in workload without the necessary resources or support to implement it.

“This approach of burdening local government further without helping them pay for it will not end well.

“Those fleeing from this war deserve our protection and support and so far, the Government have not done enough to guarantee that, leaving it to local authorities who are already struggling.”