“Taxpayers currently fork out £6.8 million a day to put up 35,000 people awaiting deportation.”
“Last year, a record 45,000 people crossed the channel illegally… and the taxpayer is spending £7 million a day to house them in hotels.”
An article published by the Daily Express on Friday, 3 February claimed that “taxpayers currently fork out £6.8million a day to put up 35,000 people awaiting deportation”.
On the same day, the Daily Mail wrote: “the taxpayer is spending £7 million a day” on hotel accommodation for “people [who] crossed the channel illegally”.
Similar claims that over £7 million a day is being spent on hotels for “illegal immigrants” have also been shared on Facebook.
These claims ignore that around £1.2 million of this cost goes towards providing ‘bridging accommodation’ for Afghan refugees who arrived in the UK via legal resettlement schemes (the government has described bridging accommodation for Afghans as “as a short -term solution to bridge the gap between arriving in the UK and moving into settled accommodation.”)
These figures are based on numbers provided to the Home Office Select Committee in October 2022.
The committee heard that approximately £5.6 million a day is spent on hotel accommodation for asylum seekers. This is not necessarily limited to asylum seekers who arrived in the UK by crossing the channel, although this is by far the most common route of arrival.
An additional £1.2 million per day is spent on hotels being used to house Afghans who have arrived in the UK under government resettlement schemes.
The Home Office has confirmed to Full Fact that these figures are the latest which are publicly available.
A Home Office spokesperson said “there are currently more than 45,500 asylum seekers in hotels costing the UK taxpayer £5.6 million a day”.
It’s therefore inaccurate to state that nearly £7 million is being spent each day on hotels for either people who “crossed the channel illegally” or people who are awaiting deportation.
Full Fact has contacted the Daily Mail and the Daily Express for comment.
Image courtesy of Alamy
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