The government’s recent illegal migration bill may cost over £9bn in the coming three years, based on an impact assessment by the Refugee Council.
The assessment predicted that over 250,000 people (including 45,000 children) could have their asylum claims deemed inadmissible under the new bill in the three years. The charity also based its assessment on the Home Office being able to deport 10,000 people to Rwanda each year.
‘At the end of the third year, between 161,147 and 192,670 people will have had their asylum claims deemed inadmissible but not have been removed. They will be unable to have their asylum claims processed, unable to work and will be reliant on Home Office support and accommodation indefinitely,’ the assessment stated.
The assessment’s calculations were based on the cost of £120.42 a day to detain an individual, and that it can be assumed that 88% of Channel crossings result in an asylum application. It predicted that a lower estimate of 50% of people will be detained under the bill, and an upper estimate would assume a 100% detention rate.
The charity stated that these estimates are likely to be conservative ‘based on our experience at the Refugee Council of working with people who arrive in the UK.’
Chief executive of the Refugee Council Enver Solomon said the “draconian legislation” is a “stain” on the UK’s reputation. ‘All the evidence shows that the vast majority of those who come here by so-called irregular routes are refugees escaping bombs and bullets, violence and persecution. They take these dangerous journeys as no workable alternatives exist for them – unlike Ukrainians who were rightly able to come to the UK on a visa scheme,’ Solomon continued.
A Home Office spokesperson said that they “do not recognise” the estimates in the report, and that the current asylum system costs £3bn a year to run.
‘While we are committed to ensuring there are routes to safety for vulnerable people across the globe, we must grip the rise in illegal migration and stop the boats. That is why we are making people who come to the UK illegally liable for detention and swift removal,’ they continued.