New points based system likely to result in higher immigration

May 06, 2008

The Government’s claim that their new Points Based system will result in lower levels of immigration is pure spin.  The scheme has no limits and, in fact, will probably result in even higher levels of immigration.

It is so complex and bureaucratic, with potentially 26,000 job titles, that it is highly likely to lead to chaos and confusion, increasing the scope for abuse, says a report from think tank Migrationwatch which has analysed the system in detail.(see Briefing Paper 3.3)

‘Piece by piece the Government’s case for the highest levels of immigration in our history has been dismantled, most recently by the House of Lords Economic Committee.   Yet, once again, the government have ducked the issue of limits to the numbers admitted,’ said Sir Andrew Green, Migrationwatch chairman. 

‘The numbers could well take off as employers emulate their competitors, leaving the Home Office struggling yet again,’ he said.  ‘Including students, we could see nearly half a million applicants a year.  On past form, the Home Office will not have the staff to check the authenticity of applications.  If so it will be only a matter of time before they simply go through the motions for the sake of appearances.  As we have seen in the past, this leads to chaos and, eventually, collapse – as in the case of the asylum system three years ago.’

In its analysis Migrationwatch lists ten specific concerns with the Scheme. The first being that the very basis of the scheme is flawed because, as the recent House of Lords report conclusively demonstrated, there is no significant benefit to the host community from large-scale immigration, yet the new scheme assumes that there is.

‘Its main effect will be to open the skilled section of our labour force to cut price competition, thus reducing the incentive for employers to train British staff,’ said Sir Andrew.  Furthermore, the bar has been set very low.  Anyone with a job offer and a Bachelor’s degree need only earn £20,000 before tax.  This is less than the average starting salary for a graduate;’ he added.

The government calls it an “Australian style” system when in fact it is entirely different.  The Australians start with a limit and select within that total. The UK scheme maintains the current ‘no limits’ philosophy.

Furthermore, all work permit holders can become qualified for settlement in Britain and later for citizenship, whether or not their skills are needed beyond the short term

‘Because of the complexity of the scheme and the likely scale of applications there is bound to be abuse and, given the absence of embarkation controls and the legal and practical obstacles to removing people the numbers could well get out of hand,’ said Sir Andrew.

‘The government are now promising to listen.  They would do well to listen to the 75% of the public who wish to see a substantial reduction in immigration – certainly not an open ended conveyor belt adding still further to the numbers we already have from Eastern Europe.   The bottom line is that a Points Based System without a limit is worse than pointless’, he added.

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