Spending cuts for asylum seekers proposed

After last year's vote to speed up procedures in national centres, the government now plans to cut subsidies for rejected asylum seekers. Keystone

The government wants to cut its financial contributions to asylum seekers as part of efforts to tighten the asylum procedure in Switzerland.

This content was published on August 30, 2017 minutes with agencies/urs

The payments for individuals, currently around CHF6,000 ($6,312), could be reduced by a third, according to the Swiss News Agency.

The contribution, paid by the national government to the cantonal authorities responsible for basic support of rejected asylum seekers, could even be limited to CH400 when an applicant can be sent to back another of the 32 member countries of the Dublin accordExternal link, which includes the European Union and the European Free Trade Association.

Administrative costs are to be halved at the same time, according to the justice ministry.

In total, the government hopes to reduce costs by CHF73 million ($76.1 million) annually, based on an assumption of about 24,000 asylum requests per year.

The State Secretariat for Migration said it was seeking to adapt the rules of legal assistance, the asylum system and the responsibility of the cantons repatriating rejected asylum seekers.

The new regulations are due to come into force in 2019 and follow last year’s nationwide vote aimed at speeding up the asylum procedure to a maximum of 140 days.

The government adds that ongoing trials run by the federal authorities in an asylum centre in Zurich have proved successful, resulting in more efficient practices.

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