§ Earl Russell
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the estimated annual cost of detaining asylum seekers.
§ Lord Williams of Mostyn
No distinction is made for financial purposes between asylum seekers and other people detained for immigration purposes.
The overall cost of running the Immigration Service detention estate in 1996–97 was some £17.8 million. This figure includes the full cost of administrative support from Immigration Service headquarters. Some immigration detainees are held in Prison Service establishments. The Prison Service does not charge the Immigration Service for the use of prisons to accommodate immigration detainees but the cost of this in 1996–97 is estimated to be some £8.5 million, excluding headquarters costs.