§ Kate Hoey
It is impossible to predict with any degree of accuracy what the future numbers of asylum seekers in the United Kingdom will be. The flow depends on a number of factors, reflecting conflicts, political instability and migratory pressures around the world. We are however looking at recent trends and also looking to make judgments on how the measures announced in the White Paper will affect the number of asylum applications. The results of our analysis will be available shortly.
The Government's plans to introduce a new support system for asylum seekers are set out in chapter 8 of the White Paper "Fairer, Faster and Firmer—a modern approach to immigration and asylum" (CM 4018).
§ Mr. Waterson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further(a) policy and (b) financial responses are being considered to deal with problems on the South Coast, arising from the influx of asylum seekers; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Kate Hoey
Asylum seekers who register their application when they arrive in this country may be eligible for income support. In-country applicants may be eligible for support under the National Assistance Act 1948 or (in the case of children) under the terms of the Children Act 1989. In the latter case, the obligation to provide support falls on the local authority.
I am aware of the pressures being faced by a small number of local authorities in coping with the recent influx of asylum seekers. I have, therefore, encouraged the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of London Government (ALG) to develop a 508W clearing house arrangement which will enable asylum seekers to be dispersed on a fair and equitable basis around the country. I am aware of the financial disincentives in the current grant arrangements by which local authorities recover part of their costs in providing a support to asylum seekers. Provided the LGA and the ALG can introduce a workable system for the support of asylum seekers, the Government propose to change the grant arrangements for this year to enable local authorities to be paid on the basis of unit costs which are realistic but challenging.
For the longer term, the Government plan to introduce a new support system for asylum seekers as set out in chapter 8 of the White Paper, "Fairer, Faster and Firmer— A Modern Approach to Immigration and Asylum" (Cm 4018).