Socialist Worker

Don’t be fooled—there is money for refugees

Issue No. 2769

ctivists gather outside Downing Street to condemn proposed racist measures last year

Activists gather outside Downing Street to condemn proposed racist measures last year (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The right is spinning arguments against refugees coming to Britain. They claim there’s “no room” or “not enough money” to take them all in.

But these claims are false.

Britain officially spent some £22 billion on the Afghan war. Other estimates put the figure at nearly £40 billion.

If there’s money for military invasion, there’s money to welcome those who were made refugees by war.

And there’s money to support them—rather than forcing asylum seekers to survive on £5.69 a day.

Almost a quarter of Britain’s 44,825 asylum seekers supported by the Home Office are housed in just ten local authorities.

Nine of these are in the most deprived areas in the country.

Across England last year there were 268,385 long-term empty homes—empty for more than six months.

Why can’t they be used for refugees and other people in housing need?

Smash Tory racists—and their nationalism
Smash Tory racists—and their nationalism
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And there were 262,782 second-homes without any permanent residents last year.

This year, as Covid-19 swept the world and ordinary people suffered, Britain created a record number of billionaires.

There are 171 billionaires in Britain, 24 more than a year ago.

Here is the money we could use for refugees and much more.

Right wingers also argue that Britain should focus on its own citizens. But those same right wingers haven’t ever given a thought about poor people here.

They are now just looking to scapegoat desperate refugees and divide people.

In fact, working class people in Britain have more in common with refugees than the rich. They’re both victims of a profit driven system—one that creates war and inequality.

We’re fed lie upon lie by Priti Patel and the Home Office that Britain cannot cope with a huge influx of refugees.

But applications for asylum have been higher in the past.

The difference now is that after ten years of Tory austerity, resources have been cut back.

It’s true that councils are underfunded, but it’s not because of a rush of people coming to Britain.

There is more than enough money—it’s just in the hands of the wrong people.

The enemy of ordinary people in Britain isn’t refugees. The enemy is the rich, the bosses and the system that they profit from.

Now the left and anti-racists must fight for every refugee to be welcomed into Britain. That should include all of those from Afghanistan and from other countries who are seeking refuge.

This means hitting back against the Tories’ racism and imperialism.

Britain’s war in Afghanistan has come crashing down—now it’s time the Tories faced the same fate here.


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