The taxpayer is shelling out £726,000 a day on asylum seekers, despite the government’s promises to cut migration. The figures were revealed in today’s Daily Express, with the paper calculating the bill would be enough to fund 58,000 extra nurses, 52,000 teachers or 47,500 police officers.
The government has spent a whopping £1.2billion on bed and board for refugees since David Cameron came into office in 2010. Data from the Home Office shows the bill for last year was £265 million, or £726k a day.
The figures were immediately seized upon by UKIP, who claim they are further evidence that the government has lost control of immigration. Steven Woolfe MEP said: “Following the staggering immigration figures from last week, we now have these extraordinary numbers which illustrate the failures of our soft-touch immigration policy.
“Instead of wasting more than £700,000 a day keeping claimants here we should use the money to abolish the bedroom tax or reduce the huge national debt.”
Alp Mehmet, of Migration Watch, said: “Anyone who merits asylum should be granted it quickly but those who don’t should be removed equally quickly. If they are not, it will inevitably end up costing the British taxpayer a lot of money.”
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayer’s Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be astounded at this cost. Clearly it would be inhumane not to house and feed individuals while they are waiting for deportation but we have to speed up the process.”
Immigration minister, James Brokenshire, conceded the figures were “disappointing”. He said: “We are building a system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system or flout the law but we know there is much more to do.”
Despite very firm commitments before the last election the Conservatives have failed to curb immigration. This is partly as a result of instability in the Middle East but it is mostly EU migrants leaving the failing Eurozone. The government is powerless to stop anyone from the EU entering the UK.