- David Cameron has pledged to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020
- Leaked Home Office document reveals the full cost of the programme
- Syrian refugee children cost taxpayers between £10,720 to £16,220
- Adult refugees costs taxpayers £23,420 - or £10,720 if they are in work
Every Syrian refugee accepted into Britain will cost taxpayers up to £23,420 a year, new figures revealed today.
In total, David Cameron has pledged to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next four and a half years.
But a leaked Home Office document has now revealed the full cost of the programme to give refuge to families trapped in squalid camps in the Middle East.
The cost to the taxpayer of taking in Syrian children ranges from £10,720 for under-threes to £16,220 for those between the ages of five and 18.
Syrian adults, who have access to weekly benefits, cost even more unless they are allowed to work.
According to leaked local government figures, each Syrian adult costs taxpayers £23,420 – or £10,720 if they are in work.
The cost per Syrian refugee to local councils is estimated to be £8,520 per person.
On top of this, central government will be forced to pay £12,700 in benefits and £2,200 for medical care, figures obtained by BBC Essex show.
Despite the costs, Labour Jeremy Corbyn today urged the Prime Minister to listen to Church of England bishops who have called on the PM to take in more refugees.
But Mr Cameron said the 84 Church of England bishops who have asked him to accept at least 50,000 Syrian refugees are 'wrong'.
The PM suggested the bishops should press other countries to fulfil their aid commitments.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Corbyn asked how many Syrian refugees have been accepted under the Government's scheme to relocate vulnerable people.
Mr Corbyn, who praised the UK's aid effort in response to the Syrian crisis, added: 'Will you give a substantive reply to the letter from 84 bishops calling on you to accept 50,000 refugees?
'If Britain played a more positive role on this front, it may create the goodwill in Europe to make headway in your other forthcoming negotiations.'
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled to Europe as a result of the country's civil war.
Since January alone, 350,000 people have tried to enter the EU in Greece from Turkey – only 50,000 of whom were stopped by Turkish authorities.
However, the recent surge in violence around Aleppo – Syria's second city – threatens to create a fresh refugee exodus to Europe.
In a desperate bid to get a grip on the migrant crisis, Germany's Angela Merkel this weekend said Turkey could join the EU earlier than expected
In a desperate bid to get a grip on the crisis, Germany's Angela Merkel this weekend said
Turkey could join the EU earlier than expected.
Turkey's hardline president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has demanded membership of the EU as the price for stemming the tide of refugees pouring over his country's borders into Europe.
But a Brussels plan to allow Turks access to EU visas – in exchange for their country's help with the Syrian migration crisis – has been branded as 'bordering on insanity'.
In exchange for the visa deal and £2.2billion in aid – which could include up to £260million from the UK – Mr Erdogan will step up border controls, tackle people-smuggling gangs and re-admit failed asylum seekers who had entered Europe from Turkey.
At a summit on Thursday night in Brussels, EU officials agreed to speed up talks on visas allowing Turks into the EU's border-free Schengen Zone, which could come into effect as soon as next year.
Yesterday Mrs Merkel said Germany could speed up the move towards to visa-free travel to the EU for Turks and accelerate the EU membership talks.
Just 10 days ago Mrs Merkel repeated her opposition to Turkey joining the EU but yesterday said the talks were 'very promising'.
However, she risks a backlash back home in Germany where members of her own party have opposed the idea.
Turkey is far less well off than the EU, meaning that a mass of poor immigrants could be tempted to move west.
More than 95 per cent of Turkey's territory is in Asia and its population is overwhelmingly Muslim, meaning the clash of cultures could lead to difficulties integrating with predominantly Christian Europe.
Extending the EU to Turkey would also mean the bloc shared borders with war-torn Syria as well as Iraq and Iran.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage warned the proposal was 'bordering on insanity' and would give millions 'access to come to Britain, to use the Health Service, to use our primary schools and to take jobs'.
He added: 'Turkey is a state with a terrible human rights record run by a dictatorial Islamist president.
'He is threatening to flood Europe with migrants unless we pay him three billion euros and accept Turkey into the EU. This blackmail is completely unacceptable.'