New proposals provide 'no upper limit' to immigration

February 21, 2005

The proposals relating to work permits in the “Five year plan” recently announced by Home Secretary Charles Clarke further underline the government’s policy of 'no upper limit to migration,’ says a new report out today. (Read report)

The report - from think-tank Migrationwatch - has concluded that the plan contains a number of changes that should help the system be better managed and less open to abuse. However, much of what is being proposed is simply a ‘repackaging’ of existing schemes and will not affect the central issue of numbers.

‘Numbers are at the heart of this issue. These essentially administrative changes amount to no more than ‘window dressing,’ said Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch. ‘A points system is pointless without a ceiling on the total.

‘The Prime Minister says that people are fed up with the catalogue of abuses that have been exposed in the immigration system over the past few years. He is right, but the consistent evidence of the polls shows that the public are equally concerned with the scale of immigration and the lack of any consultation.'

Sir Andrew said that the case for such large numbers of migrant workers had simply never been made.

‘Access to cheap, flexible labour is of course good for employers. However it does not take into account the social costs and pressures on the nation’s infrastructure that result from the continuing rise in population. In housing, for example, the latest projections show that nearly one in three of the additional 189,000 households formed each year will be due to international migration.’

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