The government is making an obscene profit from the hostile environment

Emily Apple

An investigation by the Times has revealed that the Home Office is making a massive profit from the hostile environment. According to its figures, the Home Office made £500m in 2018, with profits rising 91% in the last five years.

The Times tweeted graphs showing how the government is raking money in:

 

Money, money, money

The Times also gives a breakdown of the costs of applying to live in the UK and how these costs have increased between 2014-2018. This included:

  • The cost of applying for indefinite leave to remain went up by 119%. This made a £203m profit for the Home Office.
  • The cost of applying for limited leave to remain went up by 72% in the same timeframe.
  • A rise of £344 in the cost of applying for citizenship.

Meanwhile, as The Canary reported, new proposals are calling for immigrant workers to earn at least £36,700 to live and work in the UK. The message seems very clear. You can live in the UK. But only if you’re rich.

“A punitive system”

One woman, Michelle Ezeuko, had lived in the UK for ten years before a “mistake” meant she became undocumented. She told the Times:

It’s a punitive system. It keeps families like ours in debt, it keeps us poor. My mum works night shifts looking after people in care, we rent because we can’t afford to buy a house — we’ve been here a long time and paid taxes and contributed and you actually have nothing to show for that. All the money now goes into staying here, maintaining that lawful status — it keeps you in a loop of never progressing your life. My mum is really sad, she’s always working and stressed.

And as people on Twitter stated:

Utterly obscene

Theresa May might be gone from Downing Street, but her legacy at the Home Office lives on. As the architect of the hostile environment, she’s responsible for a multitude of obscenities from Windrush to the ‘go home‘ vans.

Now the Times has revealed that not only is the hostile environment devastating lives, it’s doing so while making an enormous profit. We need an immigration system based on care and compassion that works to get rid of borders. But this will never happen until we get rid of this government.

Featured image via Flickr – UK Prime Minister / Wikimedia – EU2017EE Estonian Presidency

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  • Show Comments
    1. I agree that I think it is obscene that in such a small amount of time changes in immigration policy have equated to such a huge rise in the cost of people coming to the UK to live and work and increased the Home Office’sincome as a result.

      However, the tories could use this as a means of showing off how lucrative it is to make money from immigration to immigration skeptics. When actually in the grand scheme of things, £500 million represents 0.025% of the country’s GDP. Not sure how relevant it is but having articles that feed into their crap views is not a fantastic strategy. I think the angle used on reporting this particularly disturbing news should have been more sensitive to how the right-wing press could use such information.

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