Saturday 15 May 2021

Refugee bill may reach €1bn, says Dutch finance minister

finance minister Jeroen DijsselbloemThe cost of taking care of asylum seekers may be as much as €1bn this year, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told BNR radio on Thursday.

The minister was reacting to figures in the NRC which suggest the cost of caring for one refugee over a year is €25,000. That would put the bill for the 60,000 asylum seekers forecast to come to the Netherlands at €1.25bn.

Dijsselbloem said he was unaware of the NRC’s calculations but that the bill is heading towards €1bn. ‘We had a budget of €300m at the beginning of the year but have had to increase that. A further rise before the end of the year is inevitable.’

The minister said there is no alternative other than to provide people with food and accommodation. ‘You cannot let people sleep on the streets,’ he said. ‘That is the last thing I would want to do. But I would rather do other things with the money.’

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