Is this what you call value for money?
Suella Braverman – like the rest of the UK’s current Tory government – seems to be adapt at playing the system to secure what she wants for herself and her Home Office. Apparently the same rule seems to apply to both:
The cost to the public doesn’t matter.
So we see that at home, she has exploited a loophole allowing her to claim £25,000 that she doesn’t need:
A Mirror investigation found the Home Secretary claimed nearly £25,000 in household bills despite staying rent free in her parents home whilst the country faces sky high energy bills and a cost of living crisis https://t.co/1AUF2DyP6p
— Dick Mackintosh🌹#StopTheWar (@DickMackintosh) August 19, 2023
The Mirror article states:
She has claimed nearly £25,000 in five years for her London house, while living rent-free with her parents when not there.
Such handouts are designed to prevent MPs who live outside London from being out of pocket because they have to run two homes – but a Mirror investigation suggests Ms Braverman uses them to pay the household bills on her £1.2million family pad in Bushey, Herts.
It is within the rules but not “in the spirit” of them, one MP said.
Her expenses claims are all within the rules, but the hardline Tory, who earns £67,505 on top of her MP salary of £84,144, has been accused of exploiting a loophole in the system.
Ms Braverman, who recently railed against a “Benefits Street culture”, told watchdogs she “fully funds” the home she stays at in Fareham, Hants.
But she failed to mention it is her parents’ house and so costs her nothing in rent.
And at work, she has refused to roll out an accommodation scheme for people who have come to the UK to claim asylum that would cut costs in half – apparently because it is not cruel enough:
"Suella Braverman refusing to roll out asylum-support scheme deemed ‘more humane’"
We could more than halve the hotel bill, literally saving billions of pounds a year, but Braverman's blocking it because it's not cruel enough for her tastes. https://t.co/83BgaCRXkr
— Edwin Hayward (@edwinhayward) August 20, 2023
According to the Graun,
a Home Office-funded scheme in Bedfordshire … cut the cost of accommodating refugees and migrants by more than half when compared with placing them in detention. The savings came through housing people and giving legal and welfare support.
This week, the UNHCR (the [UN] refugee agency that helps the UK government improve its asylum system) will praise [the system].
The home secretary, however, is intent on overseeing a huge increase in the Home Office’s detention estate, which experts estimate will take billions to fund… The Home Office is also paying more than £5m a day to house asylum seekers in hotels.
Meanwhile, the illegal migration act will, says the Refugee Council, lead to “tens of thousands”’ of refugees being detained, with internal government projections indicating costs could top £3bn over the next two years. A report this week by IPPR thinktank is expected to warn that the law will only worsen the chaos.
The UNHCR’s evaluation of the Home Office-funded pilot is expected to praise the Bedfordshire scheme because it was “more humane” and treated refugees and migrants with civility. Critics say it is this aspect that has seen the scheme effectively abandoned by the Home Office, whose bill gives the home secretary a legal duty to detain and remove anyone deemed to be entering the UK illegally.
Sources with knowledge of the scheme said: “The findings fly in the face of the illegal migration act. They certainly contradict the Home Office narrative and rhetoric of ‘invasion’ and ‘scary migrants.’” Shortly after she was reappointed as home secretary by Rishi Sunak, Braverman told the Commons last October that refugees and migrants crossing the Channel in small boats were “the invasion on our southern coast”.
The report stated that “The King’s Arm Project, based in Bedford, has since August 2020 supported 75 vulnerable migrants of 23 nationalities, offering them legal advice, clothing, mental health support, English language learning and GP registration while in the community.
“The pilot was more cost-effective than detention and led to better outcomes, such as settled status. Fewer than half of those held in immigration detention centres are deported.”
The demands of the new Act of Parliament should not have been relevant to the pilot scheme in Bedford, as its findings were made available to the Home Office last summer. It is not even the only “alternative to detention” scheme to be wound up by the home office – one in Newcastle was ended in 2021.
Instead, her latest development is a plan to spend £306 million creating three new “migrant detention centres” to house a total of 1,020 people.
The logical conclusion is clear: Braverman wants to inflict as much unnecessary cruelty on people seeking asylum here as she possibly can, and she doesn’t care how much the country has to pay for it.
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