Milton Keynes' asylum seeker hotel is raking in up to £24,000 per DAY, government figures suggest

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The owner has refused to comment on how much money he’s making

As the first asylum seekers settle into the controversial Harben House hotel in Newport Pagnell, the owner has refused to comment on how much money he is making in the Home Office deal.

But the Citizen has used government data to work out how much money hotel accommodation costs the Home Office per asylum seeker per day.

And the result is staggering.

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Harben House Hotel in Newport PagnellHarben House Hotel in Newport Pagnell
Harben House Hotel in Newport Pagnell

In February this year the government published figures stating there were “more than 45,500 asylum seekers in hotels” and it was costing £5.6 million a day.

That equates to £123 per person per day.

In Harben House there are 140 rooms but there will be at least 200 asylum seekers housed there. Some will be families and share rooms while others will be single people, the gender of which has not been confirmed.

Two hundred multiplied by £123 equals £24,600 per day. However, the figure could be reduced if people are sharing.

The skip is piled high with discarded furniture and bric a bracThe skip is piled high with discarded furniture and bric a brac
The skip is piled high with discarded furniture and bric a brac

The Citizen today (Monday) questioned Harben House owner, 42-year-old Siddharth Mahajan who runs Tulip Hotels and Real Estate Ltd about how much he was being paid.

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"I can’t answer that. I do not know,” he said. “I am just the landlord and I employ Countrywide Hotels to run the place...I do not have that information.”

Mr Mahajan , who bought the hotel just two weeks ago, said Countrywide had been running the hotel for the past two years, when it housed refugee families from Afghanistan.

"It was already being paid by the government. I cannot say how much I will get,” he said.

The company last accounts, filed in November last year, show £761,685 in tangible assets and investments, £178,005 in debtors and £8,009 cash in the bank.

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Previously the BBC has reported how private firms are making large profits as the government pays millions of pounds a day to put up asylum seekers.

They say documents show one booking agency used by the Home Office trebled its pre-tax profits from £2.1m to £6.3m in12 months last year.

Mr Mahajan says his hotel is one of just over 400 used for such purposes in the UK.

The Home Office says the asylum system is under "incredible strain" and they are aiming to cut down on the use of hotels.

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Recently Home Secretary Suella Braverman said asylum seekers would roomshare across hotels, which will save £250 million a year

“I have been clear that the unacceptable number of people making frankly illegal and dangerous crossings must stop,” she said. “That’s why we are taking immediate action to deliver alternative accommodation, bring down the asylum backlog and use new technology in Dover.

“We will continue to crack down on the abuse of our asylum system, ultimately saving the British taxpayer money.”

Meanwhile at Harben House, Mr Mahajan’s company has carried out a swift refurbishment to greet the new arrivals. Photos show a skip at the back of the hotel piled with discarded furniture and mattresses.

A security guard is positioned at the entrance and staff can be seen going in and out. But the guests so far are staying firmly behind closed doors.