THE Home Office is paying “around £8 million” per day for asylum seekers to be placed in hotels.

The figure comes from the department’s annual report and accounts for 2022-23, and contradicts the £6 million daily cost cited by Home Secretary Suella Braverman in the Commons on Monday.

Labour’s home affairs spokeswoman Yvette Cooper called the bill for hotels “astronomical,” adding that the Conservatives had “busted the Home Office budget".

On Monday, Braverman told the Commons “it is not right that we continue to house tens of thousands of migrants in hotels, in towns and cities across the country, costing the taxpayer £6m a day”.

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She continued: “That is why our work to roll out large sites is moving swiftly, and we propose to move asylum seekers on to them as soon as possible.”

Asylum seekers have reported poor living conditions in larger sites such as the Manston asylum centre in Kent, where cases of diphtheria have been reported.

Last month, 39 migrants were moved off the Bibby Stockholm barge (below) – which had been fitted with extra bunk beds to double its capacity to 500 – after Legionella bacteria was found in the water supply.

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The annual report by the Home Office states: “We need to stop the boats to relieve the unsustainable pressure on our asylum system and accommodation services, which is costing over £3 billion a year”.

It continues: “We must take action to address the unacceptable costs of housing migrants in hotels.”

Research published in the House of Commons Library claims that at the end of March 2023, around 47,500 people (42% of people in receipt of asylum support) were in hotel accomodation.

This compares to around 9500 asylum seekers in hotels in October 2020.

Yet the report states that even if the Home Office meets its target to procure 350 new beds each week, in addition to its target on the number of asylum decisions made, it would still need to use hotel accommodation.

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The report adds that ministers have not publicly expressed a specific timeframe for ending the use of hotel accommodation, amid criticism that recent measures have focused on adding accommodation capacity rather than reducing the use of hotels.

Migrants staying in hotel accommodation have reported poor living conditions with overcrowding, a lack of food and no change of clothes.

Earlier this month, the Home Office was criticised for proposing to introduce enforced room sharing for asylum seekers at hotels in Scotland.

The Home Office annual report refers to the Illegal Migration Bill, introduced in March, as a solution, citing that it “goes further than ever before to do what is necessary” so that people know “they cannot skip the queue by coming here illegally.”

The bill is designed to give powers to deport asylum seekers arriving via unauthorised routes either back to their home country or to Rwanda.

Braverman said the deal struck by the Home Office to send asylum seekers to Rwanda will act as a “deterrent”.

Speaking in the Commons on Monday, she said: “We need a robust and honest approach to dealing with this problem.

“Opening our doors to thousands of migrants from the EU is not the solution.

“We need a deterrent, and that is why our agreement with Rwanda will work.”

Yvette Cooper criticised Home Office spending, saying that “the British people are playing the price”.

She continued: “This report illustrates the staggering costs of the Tories’ asylum chaos, with the taxpayer now spending an astronomical £8 million a day on hotels and the costs still going up and up.

“That is the price of the Conservatives’ utter failure to get a grip on this issue – now costing over £3 billion a year.

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“Shockingly, the cost of hotel accommodation has gone up by a third since Rishi Sunak promised to end hotel use.

“The Tories have busted the Home Office budget, they’ve broken the asylum system, and the British people are paying the price.”

The department’s spending has come under recent criticism as it was reported that it would cost less to house migrants on a Disney cruise than the Bibby Stockholm.

According to Private Eye, it would cost £18m to house 500 refugees on the Bibby Stockholm barge for a year.

Meanwhile, it has been claimed that it would cost £15.25m to send 500 refugees on a Disney cruise for a year.