Minister: Immigration detainees ‘benefit from £1-an-hour work’

Latest news

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionBaroness Williams was answering a question in the Lords

    Detainees benefit from being able to work for £1-an-hour at immigration centres, a minister has insisted.

    Lib Dem Baroness Hamwee had asked if the £1 pay rate “for people who have committed no crime” was “something that as a society we can be proud of”.

    Baroness Williams of Trafford told the Lords the work by inmates was voluntary and was a way to “relieve boredom”.

    She said it helped meet “recreational and intellectual” needs – and was not a scheme designed to save money.

    Baroness Williams, who faced jeers as she answered questions in the House of Lords, argued that any rights detainees had to work were curtailed, so their pay rights were “not the same as people who are not subject to immigration detention”.

    Image caption Baroness Boothroyd was the House of Commons Speaker between 1992 and 2000

    Labour frontbencher Lord Rosser argued that a Freedom of Information request in May 2014 suggested that hundreds of detainees had been paid £45,438 for 44,832 hours work.

    “The saving of using detainees for £1 an hour, compared to paying employed staff on minimum wage, would be in the region of £300,000 a month.

    “Who gets the benefit of this apparently considerable saving each month by using detainees at immigration centres on just £1 an hour to do necessary work, as opposed to using employed staff on the minimum wage? Is it the government or is the firm running the centre who reap treat financial benefit?”

    Baroness Williams insisted the work at immigration removal centres was not about supplementing contractors, who she said were obliged to provide a minimum number of opportunities for detainees to participate voluntarily in paid activities.

    But after Lib Dem Lord Paddick received a similar reply, former Commons Speaker Lady Boothroyd pressed the minister: “The question that’s being asked is who benefits? That was the original question and that’s the question we’re all waiting to hear the answer.”

    Lady Williams replied: “Who benefits is the detainee.”

    View the original article:

    She said that “this money is not wages as the ordinary working population would see it”, adding that the rate is “being reviewed” and a report is expected at the end of the year.

    In the same category are

    Sex, drugs and A&E: 10 charts on how the under-30s use the NHS Image copyright Getty Images Most of us make greatest use of the NHS at the beginning and end of our lives.But although the 18-30s have youth on the...
    Valley lives: Capturing South Wales in the 80s Rhwng 1984 a 1990 bu 10 o ffotograffwyr, yn cynnwys David Bailey a Paul Reas, yn cofnodi bywyd a thirwedd cymoedd y de. Ffotogallery, a sefydlwyd yn 1...
    Brexit: Theresa May vows ‘smooth and orderly’ EU exit Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionLiam Fox tells Laura Kuenssberg rebels have not changed Brexit stanceTheresa May has welco...
    Iain Stirling: The man behind the Love Island voiceover Image copyright ITV Image caption Iain is the voice of Love Island One of the less obvious attractions of hit TV show Love Island is the voiceover...
    Johnny Marr returns to save us from ourselves Image copyright Getty Images "As far-fetched as it sounds," ponders Johnny Marr, "mankind has been calling out for help to some invisible force in t...
    Ed Sheeran: Travel and ticket warning for Cardiff concerts Image copyright Getty Images Ed Sheeran fans have been told to plan ahead and arrive early for his record-breaking Cardiff concerts amid travel fear...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.