Action plan unveiled to tackle soaring cost of asylum crisis

Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Greenwich & Woolwich, Alistair Craig, today highlighted new figures exposing the soaring expenditure of asylum by local councils. Across England, under the current Government, local councils’ spending on asylum has reached over £140 per household. In Greenwich since 1997 a total of £50,914,585* has been spent on the asylum crisis.

Alistair explained, “The cost of asylum support by local councils has risen over thirty-fold under this Government. Britain has become a soft touch on asylum and immigration: the Government have lost control of the system, with Greenwich alone have to spend over £50 million on asylum since 1997, the equivalent of £200 for every man, woman and child in the Borough. Tony Blair promised to run a ‘swift and fair’ asylum system. This was all talk.

“Such money which could have been spent on frontline services or lower taxes - had the asylum system not been so chaotic, unfair and out of control. The costs are probably even higher when the indirect costs to local councils, like staff time, are taken into account.

“The situation will get worse if Labour, supported by the Liberal Democrats, surrender our veto over new EU laws on asylum and immigration, and allow the European Constitution to give unelected, unaccountable judges more power over our asylum system.”

Instead, Conservatives have outlined practical alternatives to address the crisis:

 

Within the first month, we'll set out plans to enable Parliament to put an annual limit on the number of people who come to Britain. We want to give priority to people who want to come here and make a positive contribution, like they do in Australia.


• We will set up 24 hour surveillance at ports of entry.


• We will introduce new laws which will allow asylum cases to be decided more swiftly. Genuine refugees will be welcomed, but those who are not will be swiftly removed.
 

Alistair concluded, “We need a fair immigration system that helps genuine refugees and gives priority to those who want to come to Britain to work hard and make a positive contribution – otherwise, even more taxpayers’ money is going to be diverted away from frontline services.”

 

 

*Source Hansard:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/cm041019/text/41019w11.html_sbhd5

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmhansrd/vo980406/text/80406w31.htm#80406w31.html_spnew6