£100 million spent on asylum deportation flights
Wednesday 08 September 2010
The Government spent more than £100 million on flights deporting failed asylum seekers, foreign nationals and immigration offenders in the last five years, figures showed.
Last year alone, more than £10 million was spent on hiring private jets and a further £18 million was spent on scheduled flights used to remove people at the taxpayer's expense.
A total of £109.9 million was spent on flights deporting people from the UK since 2005, with just under a third of this (£31.8 million) spent on chartered flights, the Government figures showed.
Immigration minister Damian Green said the Government spent £10.3 million on chartered flights in 2009-10, more than a third of the cost of all deportations, which reached almost £28.4 million.
The latest figures, released by Mr Green in a parliamentary written answer on Monday, were higher than at any point since 2005.
In 2008-09, £8.2 million was spent on chartered flights and £18.6 million on scheduled flights,
In 2007-08, £4.8 million was spent on chartered flights and £15.6 million on scheduled flights.
In 2006-07, £4.1 million was spent on chartered flights and £12.9 million on scheduled flights.
In 2005-06, £4.3 million was spent on chartered flights and £12.9 million on scheduled flights.
The total cost of scheduled and chartered flights includes administration costs and cancellation fees.
A total of 67,215 people were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK last year, down one per cent compared with the peak of 67,980 in 2008, figures released by the Home Office last month showed.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said: "This Government is taking a much tougher approach to immigration.
"We are clear that we will reduce net migration to the levels of the 1990s - the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands we have seen in recent years.
"And we will take tough action to remove those who have no right to be here, by enforcing returns and beefing up the protection of our border with a new border police force."
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