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Immigration burden Proportionately fewer refugees on social welfare

Proportionately fewer men with refugee status are dependent on welfare than before

(Keystone)

The proportion of refugees with a B or F permit dependent on social welfare decreased in 2013 compared to the year before. However, the overall number receiving welfare payments increased over the same period.

According to figures released by Federal Statistical Office on Friday, 82% of refugees holding a B or F permit benefited from welfare assistance in 2013 compared to 86% in 2012. In terms of overall numbers, 13,600 refugees belonging to these permit categories were beneficiaries, an increase of 4.6% or 600 dependent individuals.

The rise in the number of refugees receiving welfare payments corresponds to an increase in the influx of refugees in recent years. The period between 2010 and 2013 saw an increase of 18% in refugee numbers and the number of those dependent on welfare rose by almost a third during the same period.

Of the 13,600 refugees on benefits, 8300 are above the age of 15 and potentially employable. Of this potential working refugee population, around 20% are in work  but still receive supplementary financial assistance. Of the remaining, 30% are unemployed and 50% are not looking for work (includes housewives and those in education).

In terms of monthly financial support, individuals receive an average of CHF1800 ($1929), single parents with children CHF3100 and couples with children CHF3600.

Asylum seekers belong to a separate category. Around 20,600 asylum seekers were benefitting from social welfare at the end of June 2013.

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