London, Nov.10 (ANI): Bribes paid to get foreign criminals to leave Britain have tripled in the last month, the UK Border Agency has revealed.
When the Government is stripping hard-working families of their child benefit, murderers and rapists who agree to be flown home from prison are being given up to 1,500 pounds in cash, the Daily Express reports.
Over 2,000 convicts have reportedly taken advantage of the "pay-if-you-go" scheme, which could eventually cost the public purse 6.3 million pounds.
Under the previous system, few criminals would have been able to apply for the extra assistance to help with expenses such as setting up a business and paying rent.
Now, everyone who chooses to leave the UK can get up to 1,500 pounds - with 500 pounds on a pre-paid credit card and between 250 pounds and 1,000 pounds handed over within a month of returning to their home country when they show how they intend to spend it.
The amount they get varies depending on whether they have already served their sentence or are still behind bars.
The astonishing figure is more than the annual allowance for a family with a single child and comes after a Border Agency shake-up.
The tabloid quoted Fiona McEvoy, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, as saying: "It's a total disgrace that public money is being used to bribe foreign criminals like this."
She added: "If they've broken the law they should be deported, not rewarded with cash handouts. Crackpot schemes like this are just frittering away much-needed cash and completely insulting to ordinary people struggling to make ends meet".
The new total was revealed in a letter from the Border Agency's chief executive, Lin Homer, to the Home Affairs Committee. (ANI)