Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The cost of UK’s asylum deal with Rwanda rises

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

The UK has given Rwanda another £100m to relocate asylum seekers for this year.

The British government has already paid about £140m to Rwanda as part of the asylum deal.

Sir Matthew Rycroft, UK’s Home Office chief who disclosed this in a letter to MPs said another payment of £50m was expected next year.

The revelation came hours after Rishi Sunak vowed to “finish the job” of reviving the plan after the resignation of his immigration minister this week.

But deal has been repeatedly delayed by legal challenges and no asylum seekers have been sent from the UK to Rwanda so far.

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The UK government had previously refused to disclose updated figures on how much has been spent, saying ministers had decided to set out the costs annually.

Until now it was known that the government had spent at least £140m on the policy.

The latest figures however were disclosed in a letter to the chair of the home affairs select committee and the chair of the spending watchdog the public accounts committee.

Sir Matthew stressed that the extra payments were not linked to the new treaty signed this week between UK and Rwanda as part of the government’s attempt to amend the policy, which was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court last month.

“The Government of Rwanda did not ask for any payment in order for a Treaty to be signed, nor was any offered,” the letter said.

Legal migration minister, Tom Pursglove said the money was being spent to ensure the Rwanda policy was “robust”.

He added that the scheme was “key” to reducing the amount the government spends on housing migrants in UK hotels currently £8m a day.

Labour branded the revelation of the extra costs “incredible. “Britain can’t afford more of this costly Tory chaos & farce,” Labour’s shadow interior minister Yvette Cooper said on social media platform X.

 

Source: Africafeeds.com

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