The cost of asylum exceeds £ 2 billion a year for the first time

The cost of asylum exceeds £ 2 billion a year for the first time

The cost of asylum exceeds £ 2 billion a year for the first time

The cost of the UK’s asylum system has exceeded £ 2 billion a year, with the highest number of applications in two decades and record delays for people awaiting a decision.

The Ministry of the Interior’s spending on asylum increased by £ 756 million from around £ 1.4 billion in 2020/21 to £ 2.1 billion in 2021/22. This is the highest on record and is more than double the amount spent in 2019/20, according to official data.

The 63,089 applications in the year to June 2022 is also the highest number in any 12-month period from the year to June 2003, when 71,316 applications were submitted, according to the department.

Officials are believed to be working hard to reduce the backlog of pending asylum applications, but are struggling to keep up with the number of new applications.

The data was released when more migrants were brought ashore in Dungeness, Kent, after crossing the English Channel on Thursday and when a “substantial” increase in the number of Albanians among small boat arrivals was reported.

According to provisional government data, more than 24,200 people arrived in the UK after navigating busy shipping routes from France on small boats such as rubber dinghies in 2022.

That’s almost double the total for this time last year, with nearly 3,000 people arriving in the past four days.

In the first six months of this year, more than half (51%) of the arrivals of small boats were Albanians (18%), Afghans (18%) and Iranians (15%).

The number of Afghans who have embarked on the journey has increased since the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul last year, the Interior Ministry said.

The latest asylum data show that most of the applications came from Iranians (10,752).

The second highest number was that of Albanians, with 7,267 made in the year to June and a subsidy rate of 53%.

Third were Iraqis (6,824), followed by Afghans (5,024) and Eritreans (4,711).

Officials believe the high rate of subsidies for Albanians, likely due to the most vulnerable people, including women and children undergoing treatment, could change as the recent surge in small boat arrivals are processed.

The overwhelming majority of Albanians who entered the system in the past six months – believed to be mainly young men – have not yet received a decision.

Migrants crossing the Channel accidents

More than 23,400 people have crossed the English Channel in small boats to the UK so far this year (Gareth Fuller / PA)

The government is also seeing an increase in nationality applications which have traditionally seen a high percentage of applications granted due to instability in their home countries.

Over 90% of applications from Afghan, Eritrean, Syrian and Sudanese asylum seekers are accepted.

At the end of June 2022, 117,945 people were awaiting a first decision on their asylum application.

This is up 66% from the year before when 70,905 people were waiting.

It is more than double what it was in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic (51,906) and a new all-time high since the start of current records in June 2010.

At the end of June, 85,917 people had been waiting for an initial decision on their application for more than six months.

This is up 59% from 54,040 the previous year and this is also the highest number ever recorded.

Of the 50,297 people who arrived on small boats between January 2018 and June 2022, 94% (47,306) applied for asylum.

But only a small part has been processed.

Of those who have so far received an initial decision (6,910), 49% (3,378) have obtained asylum or some other type of leave.

Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “The fact that more than three quarters of men, women and children are recognized as refugees is a clear reminder that we are experiencing a time of dire global conflict that sees many people in need of protection. .

“We remain deeply concerned that the number of people living in limbo and poverty while waiting for a decision on their application has risen to a record high. It is a grave mistake of this government that our asylum system does not work in a more efficient and humane way to prevent this from happening ”.

Meanwhile, activists called on candidates to become the next prime minister, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, to pledge to lift the work ban on asylum seekers pending the outcome of their application.

Lift the Ban Coalition said people who have made a claim should be allowed to work after six months of waiting for a decision.

Illegal Migration Minister Simon Baynes said: “The significant increase in people making dangerous crossings in small boats continues to put pressure on the UK asylum system and our ability to make timely decisions at work.

“Anyone traveling through safe countries to reach the UK should apply for asylum there instead of giving money to evil criminal gangs.

“Our new immigration plan, including our migration and economic development partnership with Rwanda, will fix the broken system, crack down on those who enter illegally and allow us to support those in real need.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.