Migrants Could Be Housed On Barges And Ferries To Slash Hotel Bill
Suella Braverman wants to cut the cost of putting migrants up in hotels.
Migrants could be housed on barges and ferries under plans being considered by the Home Office.
Home secretary Suella Braverman wants to slash the bill for putting asylum seekers up in hotels.
An estimated 51,000 immigrants are believed to be staying in 395 hotels at a cost of more than £6 million a day.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick will today announce that people arriving in the UK through unauthorised means will be put up in sites including RAF Wethersfield in Essex and RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.
That is despite opposition from local MPs, including foreign secretary James Cleverly.
However, ministers are reportedly considering using floating vessels like barges and ferries as other forms of temporary accommodation.
A Home Office source told HuffPost UK that there “are” no barges and ferries - but failed to rule out the possibility of them being used in the future.
Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab told Radio Four’s Today programme: “We will look at all of the low cost options - from barges to other low cost options.”
Braverman last year admitted that cruise ships could be used to house asylum seekers - an idea first floated by Rishi Sunak in last summer’s Tory leadership election.
Appearing before the home affairs committee, she said: “You then asked about cruise ships, we want to end the use of hotels as quickly as possible because it’s an unacceptable cost to the taxpayer, it’s over £5 million a day on hotel use alone.
“We will bring forward a range of alternative sites, they will include disused holiday parks, former student halls – I should say we are looking at those sites – I wouldn’t say anything is confirmed yet.
“But we need to bring forward thousands of places, and when you talk about vessels all I can say is – because we are in discussion with a wide variety of providers – that everything is still on the table and nothing is excluded.”