Child murderer Jon Venables is being assessed for a permanent move to Canada.
Authorities believe paying for James Bulger’s killer to go to a country like Canada, Australia or New Zealand would be cheaper than funding more failed new starts in the UK.
Venables, now 34, was granted lifetime anonymity worldwide after being found guilty of the brutal 1993 murder.
Venables and pal Robert Thompson – both 10 at the time – snatched the two-year-old from his mum in a Liverpool shopping centre then tortured and battered him to death on a railway line.
Since walking free in 2001 he has been “outed” numerous times – even by himself – each one leading to another pricey new identity. He was jailed again in 2010 and 2017 on child porn charges.
And this year he beat a court bid by James’s dad Ralph, 52, to overturn the order, costing taxpayers £65,000.
A source said: “He’s been relocated all over the country a large number of times costing a fortune.
“A move abroad would cost, of course, but the thinking is it would be cheaper in the long run.”
The Ministry of Justice refuses to talk about Venables’ case.
The Mirror reported last month Venables’ latest attempt to keep his identity secret has cost taxpayers more than £65,000, according to official figures.
This year lawyers working for the 36-year-old were paid £8,100 in legal aid, with government lawyers working on the case costing an additional £57,300.
The convicted murderer was fighting a legal challenge against the father of James Bulger, who he killed along with Robert Thompson in 1993.
Ralph Bulger, 52, called for a world wide court order protecting the anonymity of his son’s killer to be lifted to “protect the public”.