Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Migrants taking nine in ten new jobs since the election, British poverty czar reveals

Almost nine out of ten jobs created since the election went to immigrants, the Coalition’s poverty czar has revealed.

Former Labour minister Frank Field, brought in to advise the Government last year, criticised David Cameron’s plans to reform welfare as nowhere near radical enough – because they do not punish the workshy or reward those who have contributed to National Insurance. He also said he believed the public wanted tougher sanctions forcing the long-term unemployed back to work.

Mr Field dismissed proposals to simplify the benefits system as nothing more than ‘Gordon Brown’s approach, on speed’. ‘Good, reliable’ people who have worked hard and paid NI should be helped more than those who have not, he said.

Figures uncovered by Mr Field show that in the first year of the Coalition, 87 per cent of the 400,000 newly created jobs have gone to immigrants, because Britons are too lazy to chase work.

Embarrassingly for Mr Cameron, the proportion of new jobs going to immigrants is actually higher now than it was in Labour’s last year in office.

But his attempts to get to grips with the problem have to some extent been scuppered by Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who opposes an immigration cap.

In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Mr Field said: ‘I fear that, at the next election, we will still be having the same debate on welfare reform as we had at the last four.’ And he said tougher sanctions were needed to force back to work those who refused jobs that they believed ‘were only fit for immigrants’.

Mr Field said: ‘This group of recidivist, workless claimants know from past experience governments leave them alone.’

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has unveiled plans to simplify benefits into a single universal credit designed to ensure those in work are always better off.

Last night, a source close to Mr Duncan Smith said the figures on immigrant workers were a Labour legacy. The source said: ‘When faced with young, sparky Eastern Europeans coming here to work, it is essential that Britons have the skills to compete.’


British government 'will miss its migrant targets' unless they rip up the rulebook

David Cameron will fail to bring annual net migration down to five figures unless he rips up the rule book and imposes tougher limits, academics warn today.

The Prime Minister has said repeatedly that he wants to reduce net migration, currently 242,000 a year, to below 100,000 by 2015.

But estimates based on official Whitehall figures suggest current policy will cut it to 167,000 by then. The predictions, from Oxford University's Migration Observatory, are disputed by Home Office sources who say the figures 'don’t add up'. But they highlight the enormous scale of the challenge ministers face to rein in spiralling migrant numbers.

Net migration is the difference between the numbers arriving and those leaving. The 242,000 figure is the biggest since Labour opened the doors to workers from Eastern Europe when eight countries joined the EU in 2004. Barring the beginning of a new wave of Britons moving abroad, to bring net migration below 100,000 would mean a cut in arrivals of 142,000.

But Britain is hamstrung in its ability to influence net migrant numbers because it cannot restrict those coming from inside the EU. In recent months, the Home Office has unveiled a series of policy measures aimed at cutting the total arrivals from outside Europe.

Today's report, entitled Off Target, calculates the expected combined impact of those policies on the net migration figure.

The cap on migrant workers is predicted to reduce net migration by 11,000 and changes to student visas are expected to cut net migration by 56,000, the report says.

Rules on allowing migrants to bring family members with them are to be tightened this summer. But the report predicts these changes are unlikely to reduce net migration by more than 8,000.

Major shifts in so-called 'settlement rights' which allow tens of thousands of migrants to stay indefinitely will not have any significant impact before 2016, the report says.

Dr Scott Blinder, senior researcher at the Migration Observatory, said: 'The Government's current policies only look likely to reduce net migration by about 75,000 at best – which would mean that further reductions of more than 67,000 would be needed to meet the 'tens of thousands' net migration target.'

The report will raise fears that tough immigration policies advocated by Tory ministers have been watered down to placate the Lib Dems.

Home Office sources said the academics were wrong to base their predictions on the level of net migration now rather than the likely level in 2015. They also said the authors were guessing the impact of changes to rules for family members of migrants.


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