Government actively considering housing migrants on cruise ships as yearly cost hits £3.5 BILLION

Suella Braverman confirmed her department is actively looking at the idea and suggested officials were in talks with ship companies

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The Home Secretary has confirmed the government is now actively considering the use of cruise ships to house asylum seekers.

Giving evidence to the home affairs committee in the Lords, Suella Braverman said ships, as well as disused holiday parks, military sites and student accommodation are now all being considered to help reduce the reliance on hotels.

The cost of hotel rooms is now put of £5.5million a day for asylum seekers awaiting decisions on their claims.Ms Braverman confirmed 117,000 people are currently being housed either in hotels or in local authority dispersal accommodation, as they wait for an outcome on their asylum applications.

The Home Secretary said her department would spend £3.5 billion in the year 2022/23 housing and supporting those asylum applicants.

The Prime Minister announced last week that former holiday parks, spare student accommodation and military sites were all being considered as cheaper alternatives to renting out tens of thousands of hotel rooms.

Asked whether alternative sites also included cruise ships which are no longer in use, the Home Secretary said they were one potential option.

The Home Secretary said her department would spend £3.5 billion in the year 2022/23 housing and supporting those asylum applicants.
The Home Secretary said her department would spend £3.5 billion in the year 2022/23 housing and supporting those asylum applicants.

She told the Committee: "We will bring forward a range of alternative sites, they will include disused holiday parks, former student halls.

"I should say we are looking at those sites, I wouldn't say anything is confirmed yet.

"But we need to bring forward thousands of places, and when you talk about vessels, all I can say is, because we are in discussion with a wide variety of providers, that everything is still on the table and nothing is excluded."

The Home Secretary also defended the use of private contractors to find accommodation for asylum seekers, amid claims they were making "huge profits" in the process.

Suella Braverman said it was not practical to leave local authorities and NGOs with the task of trying to find asylum seeker accommodation as there was a "huge amount of money going into trying to accommodate a very large number of asylum seekers".

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