Hotel accommodation for migrants will cost up to £ 70million this year
The most recent official figures show that around 8,700 migrants were accommodated in almost 90 different hotels across the UK in February, up from 1,200 in March last year.
The Covid pandemic has partly contributed to the increase in hotel use after the Home Office and its contractors Serco, Mears and Clearsprings halted the movement of asylum seekers from existing properties.
At the same time, the number of migrants crossing the Channel has tripled compared to last year. The government is legally required to house them, although more than 80% of them have subsequently had their asylum claims rejected.
The total asylum budget has doubled in six years to almost £ 1 billion in 2019/20, with millions of pounds spent annually on canceled flights for failed asylum seekers hampered by legal challenges and £ 40million claimed annually for asylum legal aid. case.
Almost £ 400million of that £ 1bn is spent on housing not only more than 40,000 current asylum seekers but also around 19,400 failed claimants, many of whom have filed numerous appeals against the claims rejected.
The National Audit Office has estimated that it costs £ 560 to house each person per month. The Interior Ministry launched “Operation Oak” to reduce the number of detainees in hotels.
Problems encountered by the Home Office in reducing the number were compounded by the refusal of local authorities to accept asylum seekers.
Kent County Council, which is on the front lines of the migrant crisis, said it could no longer take unaccompanied children safely because it had exceeded its legal maximum. Children are believed to account for 10 percent of migrant arrivals.