A document from the Finance Ministry shared with the news service Reuters revealed that the 2018 amount had been 11 per cent larger than the year before.
The government spent 7.9 billion euros on programmes to keep asylum seekers in their countries of origin, an increase of 16 per cent over the previous year, while German states were given 7.5 billion euros to pay for accommodation and integration programmes for asylum seekers.Populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) co-chairman Alice Weidel slammed the report and the government’s increased spending saying, “This is a costly welcome party at the expense of citizens.”
The cost of the migrant crisis, which saw its height in 2015, has consistently been around 20 billion euros per year for the German taxpayer with the 2016 amount totalling €21.7 billion, while in 2017 the figure dropped to 20.8 billion.In both 2016 and 2017, the Finance Ministry also earmarked the entire German budget surplus from the previous year towards paying for newly arrived asylum seekers.
While billions have flowed into programmes meant to help asylum seekers integrate into German society and teach German and other skills to help them enter the labour market, the unemployment rate of migrants remains high.
According to a study by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) of 7,500 migrants, around 65 per cent were still without work since arriving in Germany. Twenty per cent of those who did find full-time work were employed in so-called “mini-jobs” and made an average monthly salary of just 1,564 euros.
In 2016, the German government published projections claiming that the migrant crisis could cost the country up to 86 billion euros within only four years.