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Spending on asylum soars as Labour say system ‘completely broken’

The data comes just a week after net migration rose to 606,000 in the year to December 2022 – the highest on record for a calendar year.

The amount of taxpayer cash spent on the UK’s asylum system has quadrupled over the past decade to hit £2.1bn, Home Office statistics show.

The figure represents a fourfold increase since 2010, when costs stood at £567m.

The Labour Party, which obtained the figures, attributed the jump from £1.4bn in 2020/21 to £2.1bn in 2021/22 to slower asylum decisions, the rising backlog and the home secretary’s “last minute decision-making” over the use of hotels.

The Labour Party said the asylum system was “completely broken and British taxpayers are paying the price”.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “After 13 years, the Tories have broken the asylum system and these figures prove it.

“Nothing the government is doing is working, and their legislation is making the situation worse, with more people stuck in the system than ever before.

“Labour has set out serious plans for a cross-border police unit, fast-tracking to clear the backlog and a proper deal with Europe on safe.

However, the Home Office said “significant improvements” have been made since the audit took place.

Separate Home Office figures released on the same day also showed the backlog of asylum cases in the UK hit a new record high.

A total of 172,758 people waited for an initial decision on an asylum application at the end of March 2023 – up 57% compared with the same period last year.

Labour also claims that over the past year, only 1% of small boat asylum cases have had a decision made and that the productivity rate of Home Office workers had fallen from 14 decisions per month in 2011 and 18 in 2016, to just five per month in the last financial year.

On Thursday Mr Sunak will head to Moldova for the European Political Community summit where he will warn that a rise in illegal migration and Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine have created “unprecedented threats” at Europe’s borders.

Mr Sunak is hoping to build on migration agreements secured with France and Albania and will begin negotiations for a returns agreement with Moldova.

He will also announce a new partnership with Bulgaria to help it.

Source:  https://news.sky.com/story/spending-on-asylum-soars-as-labour-say-system-completely-broken-12893785

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