Benefit costs rise from £4m to £73m last year
15th March 2010: Over 20,000 failed asylum seekers are annually allowed to stay in Britain, the official figures reveal
Even though Immigration Minister Phil Woolas is claiming reduction in the cost of asylum support by more than half between 2003 and 2009, the figures suggest there is an enormous increase in the number of failed asylum seekers now living on the benefits
The Home Office admitted while the number of notices issued has remained consistent in recent years, the number of compulsory removal has taken a deep plunge. In 2008, 26,832 notices were issued, but only 7,850 applicants were removed – down from nearly 12,000 in 2006.
The cost of benefit payments to support them has rocketed from £4million in 2003-04 to £73million last year.
Commenting on the scenario, Shadow Immigration Minister Damian Green said that this was a terrible picture of a system which was not fit for purpose. This was unfair to both the taxpayer and the individuals involved. It indicated that the Labour’s Immigration Policy was in tatters.
Matthew Elliott, of the Tax Payers’ Alliance, asserted that the Britain’s liability was too high and hard-working people were facing further tax rises. He added that with the given situation they could not afford to have unsuccessful asylum seekers lasting about on benefits. Being negligent was no longer an option when the country’s finances were so bad.
Going by figures, in 2004 a total of 34,748 removal notices were issued out of which 12,210 were enforced. The following year 26,309 was served but only 11,525 of them were imposed.
Further in 2006, just 23,855 notices were issued out of which 11,525 were enforced. In 2007 the removal notices had risen to 25,666, but only 8,760 were imposed. The backlog of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation is growing fast as the UK Border Agency fails to keep pace with rejected applicants.
Clarifying Immigration Minister Phil Woolas insisted: The asylum applications were at their lowest level for 18 years. He added that the was sometimes delayed by applicants who aggravate it by further legal challenges, difficulties in deporting people to some countries and the reluctance of some to comply with documentation requirements. Woolas asserted that they were working towards reducing the cost to the taxpayer.