Cost of UK’s Asylum System Nearly Doubles in a Year, Reaching £3.97 Billion

Cost of UK’s Asylum System Nearly Doubles in a Year, Reaching £3.97 Billion

The expenditure on the UK’s asylum system has witnessed a significant increase, almost doubling within a span of a year, now reaching a total of £3.97 billion.

This rise in expenses is accompanied by a growing backlog in asylum applications, hitting yet another record high.

In the fiscal year 2022/23, the Home Office’s spending on asylum escalated by £1.85 billion, soaring from the £2.12 billion spent in 2021/22.

This staggering increase is particularly evident when compared to a decade ago, in 2012/13, when the total expenditure stood at a mere £500.2 million.

The latest immigration statistics, released by the Government, reveal another concerning trend: a substantial majority, 80% to be precise, of asylum seekers are facing waiting times exceeding six months for their initial decision to be reached.

The data highlights that by the end of June 2023, a total of 175,457 individuals were awaiting their initial decision on asylum applications within the UK.

This figure represents a 44% surge from the 122,213 reported for the same period in the preceding year.

Remarkably, this number constitutes the highest recorded since the inception of current data collection practices in 2010.

Of these waiting applicants, a staggering 139,961 individuals had endured waiting periods surpassing six months for their initial decisions, marking a 57% surge compared to the previous year’s 89,231 cases.

Once again, this statistic establishes a new record high.

The Home Office attributes this surge in the asylum backlog to the fact that more cases are entering the asylum system than are receiving their initial decisions.

However, in the three months leading up to June’s end, the number of pending cases rose by less than 1%, suggesting a potential slowdown in the rate of increase.

This moderation can be attributed “in part due to an increase in the number of initial decisions made, and an increase in the number of asylum decision-makers employed,” the department stated.

The soaring backlog in asylum applications has not gone unnoticed in the political arena.

The Labour Party has criticized the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, for overseeing this record high backlog, labeling it a “disastrous record.”

Simultaneously, advocacy groups are calling for more efficient processing of claims to address this concerning trend.

Amidst these developments, the issue of migrants crossing the English Channel also remains in focus.

On a recent Wednesday, 345 individuals crossed the channel aboard six boats, averaging around 58 people per boat.

This brings the total crossings recorded over the first three days of the week to 1,217, and the cumulative count for the year 2023 to date stands at 19,174.

TDPel Media

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