The UK Government’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda has been branded as a “cataclysmic waste” of taxpayers’ money.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday set out the scheme which would see migrants entering the UK detained before being flown on chartered planes to the East African nation.
However, the proposal has faced criticism, with the UN’s refugee agency calling it a ‘symbolic gesture’ which will be unworkable in practice.
There has also been questions over the legality and morality of the scheme, as well as the costs involved with flying people 4000 miles away.
But, the Home Office has suggested that it will save the UK money in the ‘longer term’, despite a reported cost of around £30,000 per person.
The SNP’s home affairs spokesman Stuart McDonald insisted that the policy is “morally wrong”.
And he said it “beggars belief” that the Government is willing to spend funds on a scheme which will achieve “nothing in return”.
The Home Office has been approached for a comment on the Rwanda agreement.
“The UK government’s decision to proceed with this abhorrent policy is utterly shameful and will only add to the pain and suffering being felt by those fleeing their homeland,” McDonald said.
“Every single person making the perilous journey across the English Channel should be treated with dignity and compassion – something this Tory government are completely devoid of.
“However, not only is this morally wrong – it is a cataclysmic waste of taxpayers’ money.
“At a time when all four nations are facing the brunt of a Tory-made cost of living crisis, it beggars belief that the UK government are willing to spend hundreds of millions, rising to billions, on an abhorrent policy that achieves nothing in return.
“Instead, Boris Johnson and his Tory government should follow Scotland’s lead and use this money to put cash into the pockets of families which, in turn, will help lift thousands of children out of poverty.”
McDonald, the MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, described the system at Westminster as “dysfunctional” as he made the case for Scottish independence.
He continued: “Scotland has a strong and proud record of welcoming refugees and will continue to stand by and offer sanctuary to those who need it.
“However, for as long as we find ourselves chained to an outdated, dysfunctional Westminster system, we will continue to be associated with these hostile policies.
“Only with the full powers of independence can Scotland introduce a more compassionate asylum system for those seeking safety on these shores.”
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