“Around eighty per cent of expenditure goes on support payments.”

Expenditure levels at SEM in 2020: Finance expert Giordano Bizzozero explains the individual items of spending.

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“The highest proportion of our expenditure – eighty per cent or so – goes on support payments for asylum seekers, temporarily admitted foreign nationals and refugees. This includes the costs for returns and return assistance, integration measures and international cooperation on migration.

A further ten per cent of our budget is spent on personnel costs. This includes salaries, all social insurance contributions and other staff costs such as professional development and training.

The remaining ten per cent goes on material and capital expenditure, in particular on operating the federal asylum centres, IT equipment, advisory services and other operating expenses and investment costs. Year-on-year spending was higher in 2020 owing to the coronavirus pandemic: SEM had to purchase 700 additional beds, Plexiglas partitions, masks and disinfectant to ensure that social distancing and hygiene measures could be implemented properly.”