It costs London boroughs pounds 200 to provide a week's food and the most basic shelter for each refugee. The number of asylum-seekers currently being cared for in this way in London is rising steadily, and now stands at 3,025 - a total cost to the boroughs of more than pounds 600,000 every week. While the Government has said it will provide a special grant to help the worst-hit authorities meet these costs, no money has yet been forthcoming and there are no plans to make money available for 1997/98.
It is appalling that local authorities have been left to cope with the wholly predictable consequences of the Government's misguided legislation.
Chair, Social Services and Health Committee
Association of London Government