John Falzon says move is part of a pattern to outsource government responsibility to charities and community groups

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The federal government’s decision to strip income support and housing from asylum seekers transferred to Australia for medical treatment “beggars belief as an unprincipled act of cruelty”, the head of one of Australia’s largest charities has said.

The comments from the chief executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Dr John Falzon, came in response to the Department of Home Affairs targeting a cohort of up to 100 people on Thursday, transferring them to six-month bridging visas, which come with work rights, and withdrawing housing assistance and income support of about $200 a fortnight.

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