The Home Office has informed asylum seekers that they must return to the barge on October 19th.
It justifies the move as a cost-saving measure.
However, an Investigation by iNews has discovered that the Bibby Stockholm has cost the Home Office almost £300,000 a week whilst it was lying empty. Furthermore, Home Office contracts show that the government is paying more than £7,300 per person per week for barge accommodation. It has given Corporate Travel Management £22million for 18 months’ hire of the Bibby Stockholm.
https://inews.co.uk/news/home-office-pays-bibby-stockholm-barge-2668173 (pay wall).
Refugees have told the Guardian how reluctant they were to return to the “prison-like” environment, and the toll it was taking on their mental health.
“ We’re all struggling mentally. Some of us are married, and all of us are away from our families and worried about them. We’re constantly stressed, many of us are on medication, some of us have serious health conditions and we feel the situation is getting worse.
“The Home Office has said if you don’t go back to the Bibby Stockholm, your support will stop, and you’ll intentionally make yourself homeless. So we don’t have a choice. It’s like being bait in a trap. We feel as if we are being hunted by the Home Office, when all we want now is a system that treats us fairly, a swift interview, a stable future and a voice.”