If the government wants to break even on the Rwanda scheme, it would need to deter about 37% of people from crossing the Channel
It will cost the government £169,000 per person to send illegal migrants to countries such as Rwanda, according to new analysis.
An economic impact assessment of the controversial scheme published yesterday, also revealed that the government’s asylum system could cost £32 million a day by the end of 2026 if recent trends continue without the reduction of hotel usage.
And the analysis also estimates that if the government wants to break even on the Rwanda scheme, it would need to deter about 37% of people from crossing the Channel. The government has already given Rwanda £120million in initial investment even though no one has made the journey there.
The £169,000 cost can be broken down into the following. A £105,000 per person payment to third countries such as Rwanda, the Home Office £18,000, costs for flying and escorting would be £22,000, costs for detention would be £7,000 and costs to the Ministry of Justice would be £1,000.
An extra 9% was added to account for estimates being optimistic, bringing the figure to £169,000.
While Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the assessment proves that ‘doing nothing is not an option’, Tory MP and chair of the Commons’ Women and Equality Committee Caroline Nokes said the scheme did not appear to be value for money.
She told Sky News: “I have always been concerned that the Rwanda scheme is not only very difficult to justify, why we should be sending asylum seekers to Rwanda to be processed within the Rwandan asylum system, and actually, we should have better systems set up here to do it.
“But the value for money question is a perfectly legitimate and important one, and it’s worrying when the Home Office themselves are saying that they can’t be certain that these figures are accurate and they’re all predicated on the Rwandan scheme acting as a deterrent – and to date, we’ve not seen it act as a deterrent.”
The government’s Illegal Migration Bill requires the government to deport anyone who arrives in the UK via irregular routes and has already been condemned by human rights organisations, with even Braverman previously admitting that it may well be in breach of international law.
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward