Spending on sandwiches and heaters for Channel arrivals revealFebruary 23, 2023
Home Office spent thousands of pounds on sandwiches, heaters, handwarmers and ‘bespoke signs’ for migrants landing in Kent
- Latest Home Office spending transparency shows scale of Channel operations
The huge costs of the Channel migrant operation in Kent have been underlined in the latest transparency disclosures by the Home Office.
Details of spending on departmental procurement cards in December show thousands of pounds went on sandwiches for arrivals in small boats.
Border Force appears to have switched from using Domino’s pizza to a Folkestone-based social enterprise, Touchbasecare.org – with orders worth £2,790.
Emergency heaters had to be purchased for Manston when the heating failed in the ‘interview area’, leaving a bill of £715. And there was a £950 spend on handwarmers for those brought in from the Channel.
Poignantly, the records show a £1,000 bill for ‘Christmas present delivery’ to hotels where unaccompanied children are being housed. There was also a £760.95 spend with Argos on a TV for Stade Court Hotel, which is being used as accommodation for young arrivals.
The Home Office did not provide more details about the spending, but stressed it was ‘carefully scrutinised’ to protect taxpayers.
The huge costs of the Channel migrant operation in Kent has been underlined in the latest transparency disclosures by the Home Office. Pictured, operations at Dover Marina this month
A group is brought ashore by the RNLI in Dungeness, Kent in December
The latest breakdown of spending over £500 on procurement cards show £3,500 went on ‘bespoke’ signs for Manston, where many arrivals are initially taken
Government figures show more than 1,700 people made the perilous Channel crossing on small boats in December, despite spells of freezing weather. The month also saw the tragic capsizing of one vessel, claiming four lives.
Rishi Sunak has made it one of his top priorities to tackle the dangerous route and the people smugglers who profit from it.
His plans to deter desperate migrants include new laws to ban those using the Channel route from claiming asylum.
The Home Office transparency information is just a small part of the wider costs of the Channel crisis, including millions of pounds a day on hotels to house arrivals.
Previous disclosures have shown desperate staff have resorted to putting in huge orders from Dominos and Subway to feed migrants, as well as bulk-buying blankets and roll mats for them to sleep on.
Large sums have also been spent on instant camera film to snap photographs of arrivals for ID purposes.
The latest breakdown of spending over £500 on procurement cards show £3,500 went on ‘bespoke’ signs for Manston, where many arrivals are initially taken.
On December 7 there was a £923 bill for ‘foul weather clothing’ for Border Force staff working in Kent.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: ‘We are committed to delivering the best value for money for the British taxpayer.
‘All spending is carefully scrutinised to make sure that every pound of taxpayers’ money is spent in the most effective way.’
Images from the Tug Haven centre have previously shown evidence of the huge Dominos orders for Channel arrivals
Small boats used to cross the Channel being removed from the water and documented at the Port of Dover in December
Home Office spending in December
December 5 – £760.95 TV For Stade Court Uasc Hotel
December 5 – £715 Emergency Heaters Required To Continue Processing At Manston To Ensure The Site Could Be Cleared. Heating Had Failed Within The Interview Area. Heaters Purchased For Ctc And An Emergency Measure.
December 7 – £923 Foul Weather Clothing For Operational Officers Of Small Boats Operational Command.
December 19 – £950 on Hand Warmers For Individuals Who Arrive On Small Boats.
December 21 – £1,000 Christmas Present Delivery Uasc Hotels
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