This week, once again, the government’s legislation on asylum seekers came before the House of Commons.

Just as night follows day, it was accompanied by the government’s latest hard-man gimmick: 'housing' asylum seekers on boats and barges.

There are many things wrong with this policy, but one of the biggest is that it’s a colossal waste of our money.

As soon as the plan was announced, it was revealed that the same plan had been dismissed by officials only last year because it would be even more expensive than housing asylum seekers in hotels.

The government said it will look to house asylum seekers in military bases too – but not before some of its own Ministers and backbench Conservative MPs said they would oppose any such sites in their constituencies, and that communities could launch legal action to stop them.

With a spiralling asylum backlog, a shortage of emergency accommodation and eye-watering costs to the taxpayer, MPs, including me, were pressed on how we had got here and what could be done about it.

The bill in Parliament is, in my view, a distraction from the real practical solutions we could and should have. Too often the government is promoting expensive gimmicks instead of focusing on getting the basics right.

The money from the expensive, unworkable and immoral “Rwanda scheme” would be better used to process the asylum backlog.

Re-instating or creating safe and legal routes from war-torn countries would give people a way to avoid the boats and the traffickers.

The Modern Slavery Commissioner post – which has laid empty for months – could be filled. Unscrupulous employers who wrongly and illegally exploit trafficked or migrant workers could be pursued through a proper crack down.

We could have spent the past five years working with other European countries to solve problems in the Channel rather than picking ideological and pointless arguments with our neighbours.

So what’s really going on? One migration expert went as far as to say on prime-time TV this week, that the government appear to have deliberately created, “a theatre, a crisis… so that they can then say at the next election they can offer the solution.”

Whatever their motivation, the fact remains that the practical solutions are there but the government refuses to see them.