Friday, March 18, 2011

Eight in ten new jobs in Britain have gone to foreign workers during past year

More than 80 per cent of the jobs created last year were taken by people who were not born in this country, official figures revealed yesterday. In 2010, employment rose by 210,000 compared with the previous year, but 173,000 jobs went to those born in countries from Poland to Pakistan. Only 39,000 of the new jobs – less than one in five of the total – were taken by people born in Britain.

Sir Andrew Green, from the think-tank MigrationWatch, said: ‘These numbers point out the importance of controlling foreign immigration and of driving up the skills of British workers and the incentives for them to take the jobs.’

Overall, the employment figures painted a bleak picture of a jobs market struggling to recover from a deep recession and facing a faltering recovery. Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: ‘This is the jobless and joyless recovery.’

The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, showed that unemployment rose to a 17-year high of 2.53million, with an extra 27,000 people joining the search for work between November and January. But the claimant count, which measures those receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, dropped by 10,200 to 1.45million.

Employment dropped among most age groups, but the number aged 65 and over with a job continued to rise sharply, increasing by 56,000 to a record 900,000. The figures show youth unemployment hit another all-time high, with the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work rising by 30,000 to 974,000.


Illegal migrants to Britain paid £2,000 to go home... but can ask to come back in two years

Illegal immigrants ‘bribed’ thousands of pounds to leave the country will be allowed to apply to return after just two years, it emerged last night. The amount of time before they can re-apply for entry is being reduced from the current five-year minimum. Critics said the combination of payouts and swift returns could amount to a ‘fare-paid holiday at taxpayers’ expense’.

The new rules will apply to illegal immigrants who have entered the country without permission, failed asylum seekers and visa overstayers. It is estimated there are around one million currently in Britain and over the past two years nearly 10,000 have taken advantage of departure handouts.

The biggest payouts are to failed asylum seekers who can claim up to £1,500 in ‘reintegration assistance’ including a cash ‘relocation grant’ of £500. Asylum seekers with children can claim up to £2,000 per person. Last year the cost of running the scheme and making the payments totalled £16million – excluding payments to other illegal migrants, who can receive up to £1,000 worth of assistance.

However there are fears the changes could see many migrants returning despite having already benefited from a taxpayer-funded scheme.

To qualify for the new rules they will have to leave within six months of the date of their final legal appeal. But this definition of a ‘prompt’ departure means many could still have been here for many years before leaving.

Migrants who refuse to leave and have to be kicked out will still face a ten-year ban on applying to re-enter the country. And those who take longer than six months to leave voluntarily will still be banned from returning for five years. All those who apply to return will have to qualify for a visa.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: ‘This is a bizarre idea that has appeared completely out of the blue. It could well amount to a fare-paid holiday at taxpayers’ expense. Those few illegal immigrants who are removed should stay removed.’

Last night ministers defended the policy shift, saying it would act as an incentive for migrants to leave more quickly. Officials also pointed to savings made in the costs of immigration detention and support and the forcible removal of migrants.

Immigration minister Damian Green said: ‘It is much better value for the taxpayer if we can get people who have no right to be here to leave voluntarily. ‘Overall it’s good news all round. It means they’re in this country for a shorter period of time, which is good for confidence in the immigration system, and it saves money, so that’s why we’re reducing the number of years for which they are subsequently banned for having been here illegally in the first place.

‘We expect those with no right to be in the country to leave voluntarily. Where we need to enforce someone’s return they will still be subject to an automatic ten-year ban on re-entering the UK. ‘Anyone applying for a UK visa will have to meet our strict immigration rules and their immigration history will be taken into account.’

The announcement came as ministers unveiled measures to encourage migrant millionaires. Those who invest £5million will be allowed to settle here after just three years. A £10million cash injection will mean a fast-track visa after just two years.

Mr Green has also announced a new access route for ‘exceptionally talented’ migrants. Up to 1,000 visas will be available for brilliant individuals such as artists and scientists.


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