REPORT: Britain FACES £6bn-a-year ‘perma-backlog’ of asylum seekers under Home Office plans

A record number of asylum seekers escaping conflict and persecution are seeking refuge in the United Kingdom.

In the fiscal year ending March 31, 173,000 asylum claimants awaited an initial decision from the Home Office.

While they wait, the government must house them at a large and escalating cost. According to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) records, £3.7 billion was spent on living expenses last year.

This was already a 350% increase over 2021, but a recent research from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) predicts that this bill might rise to £5 billion within five years.

Marley Morris, associate director for migration, trade and communities at IPPR, said: “There is only a very narrow window for government success on asylum, based on its current plan to forge ahead with the Rwanda deal and the Illegal Migration Act.

“Even with the Act fully implemented, under most plausible scenarios arrivals will still outpace removals.”

The IPPR says this will result in a “steadily escalating number of people who cannot be compelled to leave the UK, but who have no path to securing permission to stay and are permanently blocked from working.”

Migrants arriving by irregular routes who claim asylum will be denied a hearing. As most cannot be returned home under international or UK law, those who are not deported to a third country will essentially be trapped at the taxpayer’s expense.

The National Audit Office (NAO), the Government’s budget watchdog, warned in June that measures to reform the asylum system were off track due to growing spending.

The daily record for small boat crossings was broken earlier this month, when 755 persons crossed on August 10. The five-year total has already surpassed 100,000.

Even if the Rwanda expulsion system is deemed legitimate and a high rate of removals of 500 unlawful entrants per month is achieved, the IPPR predicts that housing costs will skyrocket.

If only 50 are transported to third countries per month, the annual bill will be £6 billion in five years.

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