British taxpayers have paid out more than £1 million to persuade hundreds of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants to return home – before they even enter the UK.
Foreigners attempting to cross the English Channel at the French port of Calais are offered free flights and awarded up to £3,500 to help start businesses back home.
The Home Office-backed Global Calais Project has persuaded 468 ‘irregular migrants’ to return to their countries of origin at a cost of £1.2 million to the UK Exchequer.
Among those to take up the offer were 50 Afghans, 20 Sudanese, eight Libyans and five Indians – none of whom had a legal right to travel to or live in Britain.Last year, 281 illegal immigrants took advantage of the generous offer, a rate of more than five a week. The bizarre incentive is equivalent to 14 years’ wages for a worker in Afghanistan.
The Home Office also admitted paying out almost £80 million in resettlement grants to 21,506 people who had already reached the UK. The sum is equivalent to the annual salaries of 800 family doctors or 3,200 teachers.
Almost 17,000 failed asylum seekers from 122 countries have taken advantage of Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP) so far, including 1,597 Albanians, 289 Indians and 39 Poles.
In total, the Home Office admitted paying the IOM a total of £79.2 million over the past five years. Last year, this newspaper revealed that an immigrant convicted of the horrific killing of a 17-month-old baby was given £4,500 by the Government as a ‘bribe’ to leave the country.