Bill Rammell, the minister for lifelong learning, further and higher education, argues that the withdrawal of funding for asylum seekers over the age of 19 is fair because almost 80% of claims are settled in eight weeks. He says that most reasonable people would support this, especially as over half the claims are unsuccessful.
That does leave the other 20% in the cold, and some of these claims can drag on for a long time. Would it not be equally reasonable, at the very least, to give funding to those asylum seekers whose claims pass the eight-week limit he uses? If eight weeks is a period he deems reasonable for an asylum decision, then when the government does not meet that, ESOL provision should be available.
I don't agree with the policy, but if it must be implemented, then those who fall outside the eight-week period, which would appear to be his idea of a satisfactory outcome, should not be penalised.