Immigration Centre Detainees: Pay - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:01 pm on 4th July 2017.

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Photo of Lord Rosser Lord Rosser Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Transport) 3:01 pm, 4th July 2017

My Lords, a freedom of information request to the Home Office in 2014 apparently found that in May that year hundreds of detainees had been paid £45,438 for 44,832 hours of work. If that work were not done by detainees in the immigration centre “volunteering”, as the Government seem to describe it, presumably it would have to be done in total or in part by paid staff of Serco or whoever is running the centre. If the figures I have cited for one month are correct, that suggests that the saving from using detainees at £1 per hour, compared to paying employed staff on the minimum wage, would be in the region of £300,000 a month. Who gets the benefit of this apparently considerable financial saving each month? Is it the Government or the firm running the immigration centre who reap that financial benefit?