Nigel Farage has claimed the government is housing 48,000 illegal migrants in hotels and private accommodation, costing the taxpayer an estimated £4 billion over the next 10 years.
Speaking with talkRADIO’s Mike Graham, the Brexit Party leader alleged: “We are currently housing 48,000 people who have illegally come into the United Kingdom, who are waiting for a very long period of time to have their asylum claims dealt with.
“We’re putting people up in four-star hotels, giving them food, giving them £40 a week spending money, free healthcare, free dental care.”
The National Audit Office said in a report earlier this month that there were 48,000 asylum seekers in accommodation under new contracts in March 2020 - more than double the number in 2012.
The public spending watchdog estimated the new contracts together with the Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility support service (AIRE) - which assists asylum seekers with the process - would cost a total of £4 billion between 2019 and 2029.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We have a statutory duty to accommodate people who are seeking asylum in the UK who would otherwise be destitute and during the pandemic it has been necessary to use hotel accommodation.
“Throughout this pandemic, we have worked to build capacity to ensure access to safe accommodation that enables public health guidance to be followed.”
The number of migrant boat crossings has seen a spike during coronavirus lockdown, which the Home Office has previously put in part down to lockdown movement restrictions preventing road crossings.
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