OPINION - Talking Point: What do you think of the plans to house asylum seekers on barges?
The government has announced plans to repurpose portacabins, disused barracks and barges to house migrants in an effort to cut down on hotel use.
Home Office minister Robert Jenrick said the government is committed to its “legal obligations” to house the destitute but won’t offer “anything more” than essential living needs.
The government hopes the measure will discourage asylum seekers from making the dangerous channel crossing in small boats, and reduce the government’s £2.3 billion annual hotels bill.
Imminent plans have not as of yet been set out, with a government source stressing “nothing has been bought” and there are “no barges or ferries”.
The Refugee Council said it was "deeply concerned" by the plans, branding the suggested accommodation “entirely unsuitable”.
Enver Solomon, the charity’s chief executive, said: “These sites are wholly inadequate places to house vulnerable men, women and children who have come to our country in search of safety.
“We must ensure that people fleeing war, conflict and persecution can access safe, dignified, and appropriate accommodation while in the UK asylum system.
“They are also unworkable and will add yet more cost and chaos to the system.”
What do you think of the plans to house asylum seekers on barges? Let us know in the comments for the chance to be featured on the ES website.