Published On: Thu, Feb 29th, 2024

Outrage as some 45,000 migrants are still living in taxpayer funded hotels | Politics | News

Rishi Sunak is under growing pressure to end the use of hotels for Channel migrants as new figures have revealed more than 45,000 are still living in taxpayer-funded rooms.

New Home Office figures show 45,434 asylum seekers are being accommodated in venues across the UK.

The Home Office is spending £5.4 billion on asylum accommodation and support, estimates from the Treasury show.

Labour has accused the Government of blowing its £1billion budget on “asylum support, resettlement and accommodation” as the backlog of applications soared over the past 12 months.

The Home Office has asked the Treasury for an extra £4.3 billion to cover the cost of the small boats crisis. The majority, an estimated £2.3bn, is being spent on hotel rooms.

Sir Matthew Rycroft, the top civil servant in the Home Office, told the Home Affairs Select Committee, in a new letter published on Wednesday: “Both the Home Office and HM Treasury recognised that asylum was a volatile area to budget.

“As a result, in subsequent financial years both departments have worked together to manage additional costs through the usual process of Supplementary Estimates.

“The Home Office has also been managing it through efficiency savings.

“Indeed, we are taking steps to ensure the asylum system delivers better value for money for the taxpayer, such as ending the costly use of hotels and looking at a range of alternative accommodation sites.”

The cost of the UK’s asylum system had previously ballooned to £3.96bn – up from £2.11bn.

Tory MPs have warned the immigration system is “not fit for purpose” and called for “root and branch reform”.

This is a breaking story. More to follow.

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