ILLEGAL migrants will be housed on giant barges to slash the £3.5 billion asylum hotel bill, HOAR can reveal.
Ministers are preparing to unveil a fleet of static vessels with container cabins for hundreds of new arrivals.
Illegal migrants are set to be housed on giant barges to slash Britain’s asylum hotel bill
PM Rishi Sunak has vowed to end the use of hotels altogether to cut the huge sums as part of his illegal migration blitz
Ministers are preparing to unveil a fleet of static vessels with container cabins for new arrivals
Accommodation barges are widely used in offshore construction and the oil industry providing basic bed and board for workers.
But they are a far cry from the luxury 4 and 5 star hotels currently being used to put up new arrivals who enter Britain on small boats.
Our revelation comes as it is revealed that the hotel bill hit an astonishing £3.5billion last year – a third of Britain’s International Aid budget.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick will today announce that anyone coming to Britain illegally from now on will no longer stay in pricey hotels.
They will be put up in large-scale self-contained sites like RAF Scampton and former RAF Wetherfield instead – despite the fury of locals.
And a further announcement on nautical housing is set to be made in the coming days.
The Home Office wants the new accommodation to be a “deterrent not a magnet” for more migrants attempting the lethal Channel crossing – and point out that EU nations including France are already housing refugees in floating vessels.
Sites will have 24/7 security and a range of amenities in a bid to try and stop people needing to leave.
Residents will be allowed limited exercise on shore.
A package of extra cash and measures for local authorities is expected to be revealed in a bid to calm residents’ fears over the extra numbers coming to their area.
The PM and Home Secretary will tell disgruntled MPs including Sir Edward Leigh and James Cleverly that the sites will be stood up in their areas within days – telling them it’s in the “national interest”.
The Foreign Secretary has insisted that the site in his Braintree areas “was not appropriate for asylum accommodation” – and has begged the immigration minister to think again.
A staggering 51,000 asylum seekers are being put up in nearly 400 hotels across the country.
Mr Sunak has vowed to end the use of hotels altogether to cut the huge sums as part of his illegal migration blitz.
But for now the new sites will only be used for new arrivals and won’t move current hotel-users out.
Some have been block-booked for another 18 months as local authorities struggle to find places to house arrivals as the numbers surged to a staggering 45,000 last year.
Yesterday the PM insisted that children must not be exempt from his tough new immigration crackdown because it will create a “pull factor” for more to try and come to the UK.
The PM told MPs during a Commons Liaison Committee grilling: “It’s important that we don’t inadvertently create a policy that incentivises people to bring children who wouldn’t otherwise come here.
“Otherwise you create an incentive for a criminal gang to bring a child with them when they otherwise wouldn’t be, and I don’t think that is a good thing.
“We don’t want to create a pull factor to make it more likely that children are making this very perilous journey in conditions that are appalling.”
Meanwhile, the Home Office were accused of squandering taxpayers’ cash with the eye-watering hotel costs to tackle the asylum backlog.
Nearly 400 hotels gave taxpayers poor value for money, the official watchdog found.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact said there was no incentive for the Home Office to control its spending as the cash comes from the Foreign Office budget.
Sarah Champion, chair of the Commons International Development select committee, who hit out at the “profligate” spending.
She blasted: “This review confirms that our valuable aid budget is being squandered as a result of Home Office failure to get on top of asylum application backlogs and keep control of the costs of asylum accommodation and support contracts.”
It came as Theresa May warned that slave-drivers and traffickers could find it easier to escape justice under the PM’s new immigration crackdown.
The former PM called for modern slavery exemptions from the new laws – saying victims would be less likely to come forward if they think they could be deported.
She told MPs: “My fear with this Illegal Migration Bill is that it will drive a coach and horses through the Modern Slavery Act, denying support to those who have been exploited and enslaved, and in doing so making it much harder to catch and stop the traffickers and slave drivers.”
And fellow former Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith warned losing the trust of victims could lead to the UK becoming a “soft touch” on trafficking.
Our revelation comes after it was revealed the migrant hotel bill hit an astonishing £3.5billion last year
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