Germany spent more than $21 BILLION on refugees in 2016 as crisis outstrips state budgets

German states spent more than €20bn (£17.5bn) on refugees in 2016, government figures have indicated as Angela Merkel continues to come under pressure for her policy on migration.

Statistics seen by The Independent for the states of Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein, Hesse and Berlin show that the cost of housing and integrating asylum seekers has far outstripped official predictions.

The Bundestag’s statistics service has listed a total spend of over €7bn (£6bn) for those four states alone in 2016, meaning the nationwide figure is likely to be far higher.

Johannes Singhammer, Vice President of the German parliament, told Die Welt: “[The figures] show that if the costs are added up for all federal states, around €23bn (£20bn) has probably been spent on migrants and refugees in 2016.”

The four states recorded have taken around a third of asylum seekers currently living in Germany, where more than a million have arrived since the start of the refugee crisis in 2015.

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