Up to £74m spent during 5 yrs on voluntary return scheme for failed asylum seekers

Estimates suggest up to £74 million has been spent during the past five years on a voluntary return scheme for those having no right to remain in the UK. Approximately 2,406 applicants were given such support in the first nine months of 2011.


The scheme offers packages of up to £2,000 as support. The amount is to be spent on assistance such as setting up home or a business. It is paid in lieu of their not fighting removal.

The support is also provided to destitute asylum seekers with cases still under consideration. Those who are not detained are also given the support.

On an average more than £100,000 a day is being spent to accommodate failed asylum seeker.

The previous year, the Home Office spent almost £40 million supporting “hard cases” of asylum seekers, whose claims were turned down, but were are unable to leave for one reason or another.

Among the reasons behind their continuing stay is usually the fact that unsafe conditions prevail in their home country. The other reasons a medical condition, or even a judicial review on a legal point in their case.

Commenting on the situation, Chairman of Migration Watch UK Sir Andrew Green says: “This is a measure of the lengths to which people will go to stay in Britain.

“But in the end, if their cases fail they must leave or the credibility of the whole system is completely undermined.”

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