Germany to Spend $18 Billion on Refugee Aid Next Year: Report

German states are to spend $18 billion on refugee aid next year—more than double the $8.7 billion budgeted by the German government in November, according to a newspaper survey.

The figures, obtained by German national newspaper Die Welt, show annual budget projections on refugee aid for 15 of the 16 federal states in the country to be much higher than originally expected.

On November 5, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble told Reuters that he had budgeted $8.7 billion to shelter and integrate refugees next year. But the Die Welt projections show states such as North Rhine-Westphalia, the fourth largest, and Bavaria, in the south, have now set aside $4.3 billion and $3.6 billion apiece—the largest two amounts of all the 15 states.

Cost apportioning differs depending on state, Brandenburg—which incorporates Berlin—accounts for the extra cost of paying teachers, police and judges while funding allocated by North Rhine-Westphalia only accounts for housing and food costs.

Spending may rise further since the budgets were based on earlier and lower estimates of 800,000 arrivals for 2015, in the Reuters report. On December 4, the German interior ministry told Newsweek that it expects the arrival of around 970,000 refugees by the end of 2015—four times the level of 2014. According to spokesman Tobias Plate, around half of this number have already applied for asylum.

Only one quarter of the $18 billion projected costs will be covered by the German government after it pledged to pay $730 per refugee per month next year, the report says. It is unknown where the additional funds will come from. Earlier this month, the German Council of Economic Experts—in its annual report to the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel—predicted total additional public expenditure outlays of up to $15.6 billion on refugees next year, the Financial Times reported.

Unable to cope with the influx of refugees entering the country, several German states threatened in November to impose its own refugee quota, the Telegraph newspaper reported. The state of Saxony-Anhalt threatened to impose its own limit on how many asylum seekers it will take to 12,000, in defiance of Merkel's refusal to set a national ceiling on November 23. Finance ministers in Saxony-Anhal have set aside the lowest budget of $490 million.