Number Of Migrants In Hotels Nearly Quadruples In One Year To Just Under 40,000 (costing Taxpayers £1.7 Billion Per Year)

Asylum, Housing, Policy, Refugees

  • News comes as government continues to funnel huge numbers into he UK while continuing to operate a Channel ferry service for illegal crossers and even trying to hide the number of daily arrivals from the public (sign our petition, write to your MP about this or see summary here).

Taxpayers are forking out £1.7 billion a year on housing migrants (including thousands of illegal Channel boat migrants – see our Channel Tracking Station) in hotels.

The number of migrants in hotels is now approaching 40,000. That’s nearly four times more than the number at the beginning of 2021 which was about 8,000. This adds to the cost of our overwhelmed and massively abused asylum system (see our recent briefing paper on this here).

Meanwhile, the government has confirmed that some Afghans were refusing to leave hotels and move to permanent homes in certain parts of the country such as Scotland or Wales, meaning the sky-high bills for taxpayers will continue (see report).

The news comes as the UK faces a huge housing crisis with homelessness on the rise and tenants facing the fastest rent rise in five years (see media report).

It was also reported that councils are being given grants to buy family homes to house refugees. The question we have is: What about the people already on housing lists? Some have been waiting nearly 10 years.

As an MP told Parliament: “The impact on housing pressure at local level could cause… tensions if there is resentment about refugees receiving housing… at a time of acute affordable housing shortage.” (Hansard).

So during a health and housing crisis, already-congested communities are being further overwhelmed, in parts of the country where residents are increasingly struggling to make ends meet and get on the housing ladder.

The government was forced to admit the huge costs of housing tens of thousands in hotels after a senior civil servant told MPs that the cost was £1.2 million a day, equivalent to £438 million in a year, as Home Secretary Priti Patel was quizzed by MPs on Channel migrant crossings (see transcript).

However, in a statement the Home Office revealed that the true figure was £4.7 million per day, comprising £3.5 million for hotels for 25,000 asylum seekers, largely comprising Channel migrants, and £1.2 million for 12,000 Afghan refugees evacuated from Kabul.

The Home Office says it is close to a new deal with local councils to disperse asylum seekers. In addition, ministers are proposing to house up to 30,000 Channel migrants in temporary camps built by the army.

18th February 2022

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