Here is Downing Street’s response to my Freedom of Information Request on refugee eligibility for benefits – and my response.
First their condescending reply:
…Thank you for your recent email, in which you request information regarding entitlements to benefits.
It might prove helpful to explain that the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) provides a qualified right of access to recorded information held by a public authority at the time a request is received. It does not require a public authority to provide opinion or comment, or to answer questions unless this can be done so with reference to recorded information already held by that body. It also does not require a public authority to create information for the purposes of answering a request.
As you may be aware, each Government Department is a separate public authority for the purposes of the Act. You may therefore with to contact the relevant Government Department directly with your query, to see what, if any recorded information they hold in relation to it. Within Government, the Department for Work and Pensions has overall responsibility for matters relating to benefit eligibility, and the Home Office has overall responsibility for matters relating to immigration and asylum policy, under the direction of their respective Secretaries of State and Ministerial teams. You can contact them at:
Department for Work and Pensions
Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
Direct Communications Unit”
And my response was:
” As you may be aware, this government is supposed to be joined up. Therefore if I submit a request to you it is beholden on you to ensure the right departments get the information, not bat it back to me like some half rate, half-witted numpty who can’t do a proper job.”
Clearly they do not wish us to have the information or to make it as difficult as possible.