£100m Translation Bill – NHS Tops List
Taxpayers are forking out £100million a year on translation for immigrants, it was revealed last night.
Police, town halls, hospitals and courts have to pay for translating documents and hiring interpreters.
The biggest spender is the NHS, which is paying out at least £33million, while the Ministry of Justice spends almost 16million.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “The guidance I’ve issued is crystal clear, Councils should stop wasting taxpayers’ money by translating into foreign languages.
“Translation holds people back from integrating into British society. If they can’t speak English, they’re not going to get on. Money saved can be used to protect front-line services.”
A freedom of information request revealed Polish was the top language translated.
But one council helped with 61 languages, including rarely used Fulani, Karen, Tagalog and Visayan.
A hospital in the north-east used interpreters 74 times a day.
Julia Manning, chief executive of the think-tank 2020Health, said: “It should be the responsibility of family and friends to assist with understanding.”