Turner review dismisses immigration / pension link


December 01, 2005

The myth that immigration has a significant role to play in paying for pensions has been finally laid to rest with the publication of the Turner review, says think tank Migrationwatch.

‘One of the arguments used to justify the present massive levels of immigration is that they are necessary to help meet future UK pension needs,’ said Migrationwatch chairman, Sir Andrew Green.

‘But we now find that immigration is not even mentioned in this key report; leading to the inevitable conclusion that it has no significant impact on pensions – as we have repeatedly pointed out. This is the dog that didn’t bark. The reason, no doubt is that the Commission’s preliminary report dismissed the suggestion in the following terms:

“Only high immigration can produce more than a trivial reduction in the projected dependency ratio over the next 50 years. Net inward migration at +300,000 per year could bring the 2040 old-age dependency ratio down from 47.3% to 42.1%. But it is important to realise that this would only be a temporary effect unless still higher levels of immigration continued in later years, or unless immigrants maintained a higher birth rate than the existing population, since immigrants themselves grow old and become pensioners who need workers to support them.” (Pensions:Challenges and Choices. The First Report of the Pensions Commission)

‘One by one the government’s arguments for the highest levels of immigration in our history are being shown to be largely false. Let us hope that, with publication of the Turner report this specious claim will now be dropped,’ said Sir Andrew.

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