Just 48 migrants move out of costly hotels each week
The Home Office is finding just a few dozen beds a week to move asylum seekers out of hotels, a bombshell report has revealed.
Suella Braverman's department set a target to locate 500 beds a week in cheaper accommodation – but secured just 48 beds a week on average in the year to April.
'Dispersal' accommodation – such as self-catering flats – costs the taxpayer £14.41 a night on average, compared with £145 a night for an asylum hotel.
Currently, 45,000 migrants are in hotels at a cost of £6million a day. In September, the Home Office envisioned ending the use of hotels by December – but it has 'since reduced its ambition'.
Amid a mountain of 173,000 asylum claims, the auditors revealed that in April this year only half of the Home Office's 1,270 caseworkers were 'deciding claims' – the rest were still 'in training' or 'absent'. In fact, just 140 were 'fully trained and working independently'.
Mr Sunak pledged in December that 92,000 'legacy' asylum claims lodged before June 28 last year would be 'abolished' by the end of this year. The backlog has fallen to 78,954, but the overall total is rising by the day.
The Home Office has set up a programme to reduce costs – but the NAO said the scheme is 'not on track'. Meanwhile, it spent £3.6billion on asylum costs, including accommodation, last year – double the previous year's sum.