Several councils are currently in disagreement with the Home Office over funding reimbursements for services for asylum seekers over the past two years, it has emerged this week.
Southwark Council is thought to have one of the biggest gaps between its claim for asylum support services for 2004-6 and what the Home Office is currently willing to pay back.
A Home Office spokesperson said Southwark’s gap stood at £5.9m but that negotiations had not ended and that the government was committed to paying back all of councils’ “reasonable expenditures” on asylum support. She added that the government had paid back 83.6 per cent of Southwark’s claim.
A Southwark Council spokesperson said it was challenging the Home Office’s calculation and were carrying out a detailed analysis to support their position.
The spokesperson added: “We’ve always respected our statutory responsibility to support those seeking asylum in the borough but in order to provide these services we need full reimbursement from the Home Office. We will therefore be doing everything possible to ensure that the borough is not penalised for the costs incurred for carrying out our responsibilities.”