This figure includes individuals from the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, which is distinct from the U.K.'s asylum system.
On March 7, the Home Office released a video concerning the government's plans relating to migrants crossing the English Channel. The video features Home Secretary Suella Braverman discussing the scale of the issue. On this, Braverman says,
"Last year, over 45,000 people made the unsafe, unnecessary, and illegal journey across the Channel. Our asylum system has been overwhelmed. We're now spending almost £7 million a day on hotels. Stopping the boats is one of the five promises the Prime Minister has made to the British people. And it's my top priority."
Braverman is not alone in citing the figure of "almost £7 million a day" in relation to hotels housing asylum claimants. The figure has been repeatedly raised by activists, commentators, and outlets in favor of tightened immigration controls. As recently as February 3, the Daily Express' Deputy Political Editor wrote that "taxpayers currently fork out £6.8 million a day to put up 35,000 people awaiting deportation."
Braverman's £7m figure refers to data provided to the Home Affairs Committee late last year. At the time, representatives of the Home Office were asked the following question by the Committee's chair: "Obviously, you are increasing the use of hotels, so what is the cost now?" They were told in response that "it is £5.6 million per day," and likely to increase. Providing more context, the official told the committee, "That is just asylum seekers. That does not include the hotels that are also being used for people we have brought over from Afghanistan." The committee was then told that this cost an "additional £1.2 million per day."
When contacted by Logically, a Home Office official confirmed that Braverman's figure includes the cost of housing asylum seekers and the provision of bridging accommodation to people in the U.K. via the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).
The ACRS operates to relocate Afghans deemed to have aided the U.K. in Afghanistan or a member of a group determined to be at particular risk under the country's current regime. According to the Home Office's website, "Anyone who is resettled through the ACRS will receive indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the U.K. and will be able to apply for British citizenship after 5 years in the U.K. under existing rules." In response to Logically's queries, a Home Office official confirmed that this scheme is distinct from the U.K.'s asylum system.
According to the most recent available figures, almost "£7 million a day" is not spent on housing asylum seekers. Oral evidence given to the Home Office Select Committee makes it clear that the figure cited by Braverman is a combination of £5.6 million spent on housing asylum seekers and £1.2 million allocated to providing temporary accommodation to individuals resettled in the U.K. under the ACRS. The ACRS is distinct from the U.K.'s asylum system, and the individuals processed through this scheme are not classed as asylum seekers or refugees. This claim has therefore been marked as misleading.