London | Every Syrian refugee who comes to Britain will cost taxpayers up to £24,000 a year, according to official figures which suggests the total bill is likely to rise to hundreds of millions of pounds.
David Cameron has pledged to take 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next four-and-a-half years, but 84 bishops has said UK should accept 50,000. A leaked Home Office document has revealed that the cost to the taxpayer for taking refugees will range from £10,720 for children to £23,420 for unemployed adults.
The figures emerged as David Cameron said that Church of England bishops who have called on him to accept more refugees are “wrong”. Mr Cameron has pledged to take 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next four-and-a-half years, but 84 bishops has said Britain should accept 50,000.
He said: “I would now like to see the bishops make a very clear statement, which is Britain has fulfilled our moral obligations by making a promise to the poorest countries and poorest people in the world of spending 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on aid, and how many other of the big countries that made that promise have kept that promise?”
he Home Office figures, obtained by the BBC, revealed that the cost to the taxpayer of taking in Syrian children ranges from £10,720 for under-threes to £16,220 for those between the ages of five and 18.
Syrian adults, who have access to weekly benefits, cost even more unless they are allowed to work.
According to leaked local government figures, each Syrian adult costs taxpayers £23,420 – or £10,720 if they are in work.
The cost per Syrian refugee to local councils is estimated to be £8,520 per person. On top of this, central government will be forced to pay £12,700 in benefits and £2,200 for medical care.