§ Lord Lester of Herne Hill
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether, in the light of the decision by Mr. Justice Carnwath in Regina v. Newham London Borough Council ex parte Gorenkin (13 May 1997), they will introduce a measure to amend Section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948 to empower local authorities to provide food vouchers to asylum seekers in need of care and attention where residential care has not been provided by the local authority.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington)
Section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948 is about the provision of residential accommodation for those who need care and attention and who need to be looked after in that accommodation. We do not intend to introduce legislation to empower local authorities to provide for people for whom they have not arranged accommodation.