February
22
2020
Author
British Red Cross
The Costs of Destitution

The British Red Cross has published a new report, “The costs of destitution: a cost–benefit analysis of extending the move-on period for new refugees.” It has long advocated that the 28-day move-on period for new refugees is often not enough time for people to find alternative means of supporting themselves, signing on for Universal Credit, and securing accommodation before losing their Home Office support. For this report, the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) was commissioned to explore the possible social and economic benefits that giving refugees a few more weeks to make the transition would bring.   

The LSE’s analysis concludes that extending the move-on period by just four weeks, to 56 days, could result in net annual benefits to the public purse of between £4 million and £7 million each year, in reduced costs of housing, health and employment support. This includes estimated savings of £2.1 million to local authorities through decreasing the use of temporary accommodation, up to £3.2 million through reducing rough sleeping, while the NHS and mental health services could also save up to £1 million each year by reducing the need for NHS interventions. The report calls on the Home Secretary to amend the current rules.