HC Deb 11 December 2000 vol 359 c51W
Mr. Lidington

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide an analysis of the weekly unit cost of housing an asylum seeker at Oakington reception centre when the centre is operating at full capacity; what is the basis of the difference between the figures given in his answers to the hon. Member for Aylesbury on 14 April 2000,Official Report, column 292W and the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) on 26 October 2000, Official Report, column 217W; and if he will make a statement. [141482]

Mrs. Roche

The weekly cost of housing an asylum seeker at Oakington, when operating at full capacity, is expected to be £800. That figure includes contract costs for accommodation, supervision of detainees, security and costs of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) staff on site.

The purpose of Oakington reception centre is to deal quickly with asylum applications. This requires the presence on site of IND caseworking staff, although consideration of all asylum applications involves caseworking costs.

The cost of £527 a week given in the earlier reply was based on a preliminary estimate of the costs of running and the establishment and excluded the costs of IND staff.