Deporting illegal migrants to cost taxpayer £2bn over next seven years
Transporting illegal migrants out of the UK is set to cost the taxpayer as much as £2 billion over the next seven years – or nearly £783,000 every day – according to official documents.
The cash would be used to pay for chartering planes, booking hotels and buying travel tickets needed to remove illegal migrants from the country.
The figures are disclosed in a Home Office procurement contract.
Home Office officials said that they are seeking a company to manage the transportation of illegal migrants, with the contract initially worth £8.8 million.
The firm will arrange flights and tickets, build relationships with carriers and even sort out hotels for Home Office and immigration officials. But additional 'pass-through costs', which are associated with the cost of tickets, chartered aircraft and hotels, would separately be 'in the range of £300 million to £2 billion'.
A Government source said that these costs are not related to plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
The deal has just been put out for tender by the Home Office, which hopes to find a provider by April. The contract would run for an initial five years, with the option to extend to seven years.
A Home Office spokesman said: 'We are committed to tackling illegal immigration by removing those with no right to be in the UK. Full details of this ongoing procurement are commercially confidential.'
The numbers crossing the English Channel in small boats last year were down by more than a third on 2022, according to Government data. The provisional annual total for arrivals in 2023 was 29,437, which is 36 per cent lower than the record 45,774 crossings in 2022.