HL Deb 18 December 1995 vol 567 cc126-7WA
Earl Russell

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the average cost per person of deporting refugees; on which budget these costs fall; and whether that budget is cash-limited.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch)

It would be contrary to the 1951 United Nations Convention to remove people recognised in the United Kingdom as refugees and we do not do so. People who fail to establish a well-funded fear of persecution or who otherwise do not qualify to enter or remain may be removed. Records relating to the costs of removal under immigration powers do not distinguish between people who have been refused asylum and others; nor for budgetary purposes are separate records maintained of those being removed as deportees or as illegal entrants.

Various factors contribute to the costs of removal, which may vary considerably from case to case. The costs of removing people refused leave to enter at a port are normally borne by the carrying company. However, in 1994 the average cost of removal of an illegal entrant or deportee, including ticketing and escorts, where required, but excluding Immigration Service costs, was approximately £488.

This expenditure comes within a subhead of the Immigration and Nationality Department budget entitled "Other Current Expenditure", which is cash-limited.