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Annual asylum bill surges as claims hit 20-year high


The cost of Britain’s asylum system has surged past £2billion a year for the first time amid soaring numbers of arrivals.

Spending has rocketed as the number of asylum seekers receiving taxpayer-funded support climbed past 100,000, official figures showed.

There were 116,109 getting handouts at the end of June, up by more than 31,000 or 37 per cent in just three months.

Home Office spending on asylum jumped by 56 per cent year-on-year– £756million – to £2.1billion in 2021-22.

The money mainly covers accommodation and subsistence costs for an ever growing backlog of cases, as well as other associated costs, which were unspecified.

It came as asylum claims soared to the highest figure for nearly 20 years, driven by a massive surge in small boat migrants crossing the Channel, new data showed. 

There was a ‘very sharp rise’ to 63,089 in the year to June, officials said. The claims covered a total of 75,181 individuals, including dependants such as children.

It was double the previous year’s total and the highest since the peak of the Tony Blair-era asylum crisis in 2003.

It takes months, if not years, to process asylum claims while claimants are accommodated and given spending money. This in the knowledge that they will almost certainly never be removed, which encourages more to come.

Since the start of 2018, at least 111,000 migrants have been detected reaching the UK illegally.