I’m not sure which aspect of this gladdens my heart more. Is it the fact that the coalition at least seems to be taking the phrase ‘charity begins at home’ seriously?
Thousands of child asylum-seekers are to be removed from Britain under savage budget cuts being drawn up by the Home Office ahead of this week's comprehensive spending review.
A briefing document sent to ministers sets out detailed proposals to remove child refugees before they reach 17 years old, and recommends bearing down on benefits given to asylum seekers.
Is it the fact that they seem capable, unlike Labour, of looking to the future, not just the present?
Under current rules unaccompanied child asylum-seekers are usually granted leave to remain in the UK until they can make a fresh asylum application as an adult.Or is it the fact that the squeals of outrage from the ‘Open Borders’ advocates is starting to reach a pitch only dogs and bats could hear?
There are more than 4,200 unaccompanied child asylum-seekers in Britain, with most being supported in local authority social services homes.
Emma Ginn, of the charity Medical Justice, said last night: "Many unaccompanied children are orphans. Many have escaped various forms of slavery, war and being made into child soldiers. To deport vulnerable unaccompanied children is despicable. To do it to save money is indecent ... How we treat asylum-seeking children is already uncivilised, but to sink this low would cost our international reputation dearly."Yeah, you know what? I think we’ll live with that just fine…
The news that there may be savage staffing cuts on the horizon too has galvanised the unions to begin their special pleading too:
Paul O'Connor, the Home Office group secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), said that cutting staff would lead to security risks from international criminal smuggling gangs and child and sex traffickers.Yes, I’m sure fewer UKBA
He said: "There should be no compulsory redundancies. In terms of frontline security our members are the first port of call to maintain proper border controls. If they decide to cut one in three this country will be less safe and lead to a massive exploitation of young people."
One of the proposals outlined in the document has already been implemented. The £50m Immigration Impact Fund, which gives aid to local authorities to help support asylum-seekers living in their region, was quietly dropped over the summer.Perhaps that explains why councils are starting to say ‘Enough’s enough’?
Clearly, money talks louder than the wishes of their constituents…