Rishi SunakImage: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

The Home Office’s Lavish Spending on Rwanda Plan Sparks Outcry: Millions Wasted on Legal Battles Could Have Transformed Lives

Rishi Sunak’s controversial asylum plan, intending to send refugees to Rwanda, has not only stirred political strife but also drained significant funds without even taking flight. The draft legislation, marked by Tory infighting and deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court, has already cost the Home Office a staggering £2.1 million in legal battles.

Revelations from journalist Peter Geoghegan exposed the allocation of funds, including over £1 million for divisional court defenses, £276,000 in the Court of Appeal, nearly £300,000 on Supreme Court legal fees, and an additional £475,000 on government legal division costs.

This substantial expenditure, directed toward a widely criticized and unworkable policy, could have been a catalyst for positive change. The £2.1 million could have supported 44,313 individuals with asylum aid or provided a meager allowance for staying in a hotel to 219,206 people weekly.

Advocates propose raising asylum support rates to at least 70% of the universal credit rate for individuals over 25, amounting to approximately £64.53 per week. With £2.1 million, this financial aid could cover 32,543 individuals in a single week.

If extended to meet the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Minimum Income Standard, requiring £29,500 annually for a decent standard of living, the funds could support 711 people each year.

Amid rising energy costs, where the price cap is proposed to increase by £16 between April and March next year, £2.1 million could alleviate this burden for 131,250 households or cover the typical annual fuel bill of £1,928 for 1,089 households.

Alternatively, these funds could be redirected to meaningful causes, such as providing 60,017 Winter Support Kits for Big Issue vendors, helping them navigate the upcoming months.

As an amusing yet impactful suggestion, the exorbitant sum could be utilized to fly Nigel Farage back to the jungle, with a surplus of £600,000 to spare. Farage, having earned £1.5 million from his stint on “I’m a Celebrity! Get Me Out of Here,” could indulge in whatever exotic culinary preferences he desires.

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