Asylum Seeker Hotel Costs In Context


Over the past few decades, the numbers relating to government spending only seem to rise and rise. This can be quite de-sensitising. Eventually, an exasperated taxpayer might even be forgiven for caring little for ‘just’ another £5.6 million being spent by a government department with a forgettable name. Yet that £5.6 million, which is what the Home Office have admitted they are spending on hotel costs for asylum seekers (and that excludes a further £1.2 million for Afghan evacuees) every single day, adds up quickly. Over a year, in fact, at current rates of expenditure (which may yet rise further) this adds up to £2.044 billion.
The intention of this short note then, is to place that £5.6 million into context, making clear to concerned British citizens just how much can be paid for with the £5.6 million per day currently being spent on hotels for asylum seekers at the taxpayers’ expense.

These examples are intended as illustrative only and may not take into account variable costs and are representative as an average under the conditions explained in the methodology.

Alternatively, you could pay for a single day’s operation for all of the following combined:

  • 4th Infantry Brigade, 20th Armoured Brigade Combat Team (and engineers and artillery), 102 Logistic Brigade, a long-range deployment of the UK Carrier Strike Group, Kent Police and Border Force. This equals £5,066,949.
  • 4th Infantry Brigade costs £140 million per year to operate. This equates to approximately £383,562 per day.
  • 20th Armoured Brigade Combat Team (including attached Engineers and Artillery) costs about £300 million per year. Per day, this equates to £821,918.
  • 102 Logistic Brigade’s costs are about £150 million each year which equates to £410,959 per day.
  • The Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group, consisting of Aircraft Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, destroyers HMS Defender and Diamond, frigates HMS Richmond and Kent, submarine HMS Astute as well as RFA Tidespring, Tidesure and Fort Victoria, which in 2021 went on a 223-day deployment to Japan and back visiting over two dozen countries, cost a grand total of £73 million, or £327,354 per day.
  • Kent police has a 2022/23 budget of £435.03 million. This, divided by 365 days, equates to an average of £1,191,863 per day.
  • In 2020-21, Border Force had operating costs of £704.922 million equating to £1,931,293 per day.


1 Home Affairs Committee, House of Commons, Formal meeting: Channel crossings, 26 October 2022, Q. 85.

2 NHS Digital, NHS Workforce Statistics, July 2022, sheet 1.

3, Nursing Salary, Pay Scale and Bands, 2022, available at: (accessed 27 October 2022).

4 King’s Fund, Key facts and figures about the NHS, 13 January 2022, Available at: (accessed 27 October 2022).

5 Ibid

6 Royal Navy equivalent is Able Rating, Royal Marine equivalent is Marine, Royal Air Force equivalents are Air Recruit or Air Specialist.

7 Ministry of Defence, Quarterly Personnel Statistics, 1 July 2022, Table 11.

8 Armed Forces Pay Review Body, Fifty-First Report, 2022, p. 100.

9 Metropolitan Police, Police constable – Benefits and rewards, 2022, available at: (accessed 27 October 2022).

10 Metropolitan Police, Workforce data report, September 2022.

11 Police Scotland, Police Officer, 2022, available at:

12 Scottish Government, Police officer quarterly strength statistics, 31 March 2022, Available at: (accessed 27 October 2022).

13 Allison, George., UK Defence Journal, What is the annual running cost of a British Army brigade?, 14 July 2022, Available at:

14 Ibid

15 Ibid

16 Allison, George., UK Defence Journal, Cost of HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group deployment, 12 December 2021, Available at: (accessed 27 October 2022).

17 Kent PCC, Setting the Kent Police budget, 2022, Available at: (accessed 27 October 2022).

18 Migration Watch UK, Spending and staffing: UK immigration and asylum system, 29 September 2021, Available at: (accessed 27 October 20

1st November 2022 - Asylum, Enforcement, Refugees

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