Rwanda plan cost will surpass £290 million over full five year deal, Home Office admits

It was revealed last week that the government’s flagship Rwanda deportation scheme has already cost £240 million, despite no asylum seekers yet being sent to the African nation.

The government was also shown to have spent £100 million in the 2023-24 financial year, on top of the previously paid out £140 million figure.

Additionally, according to a letter from the Home Office to House of Commons select committee chairs, ministers are expecting additional costs of £50 million in the coming year.

It would bring the total spent on the scheme to £290 million.

The revelations came after a late night letter addressed jointly to home affairs select committee chair Dame Diana Johnson and public accounts committee chair Dame Meg Hillier was published on the Home Office website.

In a joint session this morning, the relevant committee chairs questioned the Home Office permanent secretary Sir Matthew Rycroft on the nature of the Rwanda plan’s cost and why the aforementioned figures were so hastily released by the department.

Sir Matthew admitted it hadn’t been the government’s choice to reveal the figures, and that they were only revealed after a mistake by a Rwandan official. Under an agreement between the two nations, the payments were not due to be released until next July.

Sir Matthew said: “The big thing that changed was someone in Rwanda had informed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of the £100million from April. That found its way into the footnote of an IMF board paper. At that point it was clear to me it was in the public domain and I wanted you to hear about it from me.”

He also appeared to confirm that the total spend on the Rwanda Plan will surpass the reported £290 million figure.

Sir Matthew also told MPs that the Rwandan government could walk away from the deal without accepting a single asylum seeker. is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.