Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts has warned that cash-strapped local authorities in Wales may be forced to ‘pick and choose’ which refugees to take in on the grounds of affordability and has called on the Government to provide sufficient funding and resources to Welsh councils.
Liz Saville Roberts MP was speaking following a joint visit with Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans to the refugee camp in Calais where she met some of the thousands of Syrian refugees from the Middle East living in the camp known as the ‘Jungle’.
Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “There are serious concerns that the funding allocated for health services to individuals may not be sufficient in specific cases. There will likely be situations where local authorities encounter individuals with specific health conditions, which may warrant humanitarian priority and most certainly, additional support.
“The UK Government should consider special categories of health needs and ensure local authorities who face swinging cuts have sufficient funds to provide proper care.
“Councils and communities should not be placed in a situation where they are picking and choosing who to accept from the camps not on the grounds of need, but on the grounds of affordability.
“The result of this will be to leave sick and disabled people in the refugee camps, which must surely be the least suitable place imaginable.
“Plaid Cymru has consistently called on the UK Government to recognise the enormity of the crisis and respond appropriately. It’s a shocking fact that more people lost their lives in the Mediterranean last year than found refuge in Wales.
“There needs to be a co-ordinated effort from the UK Government, Welsh Government and local authorities to ensure refugees are welcomed in Wales and that their needs are sufficiently met including the adequate resourcing and funding of host communities.”