Government Announces Phase-out of 100 Hotels by Spring
In a bid to address the mounting cost and strain on communities, the UK government has revealed plans to return a quarter of migrant hotels to public use by the spring. Currently, over 47,000 asylum seekers are being housed in 400 hotels across the country, at a daily cost of £8 million.
Slump in Crossings Drives Decreased Demand for Hotels
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has attributed the decrease in demand for hotels to a significant decline in migrant crossings this year. Recognizing the negative impact of hotel usage on communities, Jenrick deemed the situation "unacceptable" and "unsustainable."
Dedicated Resources to Manage Phased Exit
The government has announced that 50 hotels will be phased out by the end of January, with another 50 following suit by the end of March. In addition to the decrease in crossings, the introduction of room sharing and the use of former military bases for housing arrivals have contributed to the reduced need for hotels. However, 5,000 beds will remain on standby in case of a surge in migrant numbers.
Labour Criticizes Government's Response
While the government's plan to return hotels to public use has been welcomed by many, critics argue that the number of hotels being phased out is insufficient. Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock accused Jenrick of inadequate action, likening him to an "arsonist" expecting gratitude for minimal efforts to address the issue.
In response, Jenrick criticized the Labour Party's proposed new towns, suggesting that they would attract illegal migrants.