Reimbursement of costs is ‘chaotic’

Kent Council has branded as chaotic the government’s system for
reimbursing councils for what they spend on asylum.

A statement from the council said the Home Office still owed
it £14.8m in back payments and that meetings to resolve the
issue were going nowhere.

Leader of the council Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said: “This is
absolutely chaotic. The Home Office does not seem to know what is
going on. We are still trying to settle the money owed to us from
2002-3. Background papers have been lost at the Home Office and its
staff turnover means you never meet the same people twice.”

He added that until now the government had agreed with the
council that the costs were a national issue and should not be met
by local council tax payers.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said the National Asylum
Support Service was working closely with senior officers in Kent to
“find a way forward”.

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