Labour's "Tough" Points Based System Actually Increased Immigration

June 03, 2010

Analysis of the latest immigration statistics by think-tank Migrationwatch (see Annex below) has revealed what Labour were anxious to conceal during the election campaign, namely that their so called "tough" Points Based System (PBS) has actually led to an increase in immigration.

For several months, the previous government declined to answer Parliamentary questions on the subject. They claimed that the PBS would admit only those that the British economy needed.

However, analysis now reveals that economic migration in 2009 was up by about 20% compared to 2007, the year before the introduction of the PBS for non-EU workers. This took place despite the deepest recession for a generation having led to unemployment of 2.5 million.

The number of students, also part of the PBS, increased by 30% in 2009 compared to 2008 before the system applied to students.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch said: ‘This is Labour's guilty secret. When they talked about immigration at all before and during the election campaign, they claimed that they were getting it under control with their tough new system. The truth was quite different. They have left an immigration system in chaos and the coalition government with a huge mountain to climb in order to fulfil the Prime Minister’s election promise, re-affirmed on 20 May, that net immigration would be brought down from the present level of 160,000 to tens of thousands as in the 1980s and early 1990s.’

Annex A
Work Permits Leading to Settlement 2007 - 2009

Entry Clearance [1] 2007 2008 2009
Tier 1 (and equivalents) 10,055 15,515 18,785
Tier 2 (and equivalents) 68,355 59,115 36,490
  78,410 74,630 55,275
In country extensions [2]      
Tier 1 - 42,710 65,925
Tier 2 - 55 20,145
Work Permits 44,685 40,890 7,290
  44,685 83,655 93,360
TOTAL 122,095 158,285 148,635
Dependants (Tiers 1 and 2)[3] 36,440 30,260 42,005
GRAND TOTAL 159,535 188,545 190,640(+20%)
Students [4] 223,545 208,800 273,445(+30%)

1 Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary UK Jan-Mar 2010, page 33 Table 1.1
2 Ibid page 47 Table 4.1
3 Ibid page 34 Table 1.1 continued
4 Ibid page 33 Table 1.1

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