Development of settled status application system cost £63m
Minister reveals cost of building online service
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The development of the digital system for EU citizens to apply for settled status cost £63m, it has emerged.
For the 2018/19 year, the Treasury provided the Home Office with £395m to support its Brexit work, according to immigration minister Caroline Nokes.
Some £170m of this was set aside “for the development and delivery of the EU settlement scheme”, she said, in answer to a written parliamentary question from Labour MP Kate Green.
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Over the course of 2018/19, about £63m of this money was dedicated to developing the digital application system. A further £59m was spent on hiring the caseworkers and other staff required to deliver the programme.
The Home Office also set aside £3.75m to fund a marketing campaign to promote the settlement scheme, Nokes said.
This included expenditure of £410,000 on digital and social advertising and the same amount on communications campaigns on radio and digital audio channels. The government spent £1m on catch-up TV adverts, and £180,000 with print publications.
No adverts were placed in foreign newspapers, but the immigration minister said that she was “interviewed by key diaspora media both in broadcast and print for the highest populated EU countries in the UK”.
The settlement scheme launched in full at the end of March. During its development, the scheme has faced criticism for various reasons, including the government’s decision not to offer citizens any physical documentation proving their status, as well the fact that the document check app is not compatible with iPhones.
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Most department staff have remained onsite during pandemic, although some ‘ad hoc’ arrangements have been made