Asylum seekers receive staggering £160MILLION in payments on UK debit card - EXCLUSIVE

Asylum seekers received payments totalling almost £160million through a government debit card system
Asylum seekers received payments totalling almost £160million through a government debit card system
GB News
Mark White

By Mark White


Published: 30/01/2023

- 15:06

Updated: 30/01/2023

- 15:07

The huge payout has been confirmed by the Home Office after a Freedom of Information request

Asylum seekers received payments totalling almost £160million through a government debit card system last year, GB News can reveal.

The huge payout has been confirmed by the Home Office after a Freedom of Information request.


The ASPEN system, which stands for Asylum Support Enablement Card, is a payment scheme that offers asylum seekers a subsistence allowance.

A Freedom of Information request was submitted by the activist Steve Laws, who documents cross-Channel arrivals and asylum seeker issues in an online and social media blog.

The request asked how much was paid out to asylum seekers under the Aspen system last year.

In response, the UK Visas and Immigration department confirmed that between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022 £159,200,000 was paid out to recipients of the card.

Conservative MP James Daly, who sits on the Home Affairs Committee, said he was shocked by the figures.

He said: “We spend over £6billion a year to house asylum seekers, which is utterly preposterous. But now to find out the government is spending £160million a year giving debit cards to many of those being housed in 4-star hotels beggars belief.

“Last week I was in Calais and saw first-hand how our asylum system is being abused. It is inexcusable that we are spending such large sums of money.”

Mr Daly said it was now time to “supercharge the Rwanda policy” and start sending those arriving by small boat to that country for processing.

Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK said: “We now know that in addition to accommodation and free dental and medical attention, a further £160 million was handed to asylum seekers through the Aspen debit card system.

Conservative MP James Daly said he was shocked by the figures.
Conservative MP James Daly said he was shocked by the figures.
GB News

“This is because all asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their claims are each entitled to £40.85 a week. That is £1.6billion over 10 years.

“Putting it another way, it would pay the salaries of around 4,000 nurses for a whole year.”

Mr Mehmet said the “pocket money” scheme would only encourage more people to cross the Channel and attempt to claim asylum and would “anger the vast majority” of the public.

The request asked how much was paid out to asylum seekers under the Aspen system last year.
The request asked how much was paid out to asylum seekers under the Aspen system last year.
GB News

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