March 4, 2016 / 9:24 AM / 2 years ago

Swedish government says to cut benefits for refugees denied asylum

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The Swedish center-left government said on Friday it would scrap payments of daily allowances to refugees who have had their asylum applications rejected in what was its latest attempt to curtail a record influx of immigrants.

A police officer keeps guard as migrants arrive at Hyllie station outside Malmo, Sweden. Picture taken November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Johan Nilsson/TT NEWS AGENCY

Sweden took in 163,000 asylum seekers last year and the minority government has taken a number of steps to bring down the number of refugees to the Nordic country, such as border controls and abolishing permanent residencies as a norm.

To free up resources for new refugees, asylum seekers will now lose their rights to housing and allowances if their application is denied and the decision has come into force, the government said in a statement.

“We need these places for others who are seeking asylum, and then we have to ensure that those who are denied move and go home again,” Morgan Johansson, minister for justice and migration, told daily Dagens Nyheter.

Sweden pays a daily allowance of 71 crowns ($8.32) for adults and up to 50 crowns for children. That should cover all expenses except housing.

Reporting by Johan Ahlander; editing by Niklas Pollard

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