Friday, July 1, 2011

Top Tory calls for tougher British border controls

IAIN Duncan Smith will today lay bare the growing Coalition rift over immigration by launching an outspoken attack on Lib Dem attempts to block tougher border controls.

In a stark plea to David Cameron not to break the Tory promise to bring immigration under control, the Work and Pensions Secretary is expected to warn that any failure to reduce the number of newcomers settling in Britain every year will wreck his drive to overhaul the welfare benefits system.

He will also rubbish suggestions that tough immigration controls could lead to a skills shortage in the UK as a “red herring”.
And he will make clear that controlling immigration is part of the Government’s “contract with the British people”.

His remarks are bound to be seen as a sharp riposte to arguments from Business Secretary Vince Cable and other Lib Dems against tightening border controls.

And they come after the Prime Minister recently admitted that being in a Coalition with the Lib Dems was preventing him from being more “radical” in tackling immigration.

Mr Duncan Smith will make clear his concerns about the direction of the Coalition’s immigration policy in a speech to a think-tank in Madrid today. He will say: “If we do not get this right then we risk leaving more British citizens out of work, and the most vulnerable group who will be the most affected are young people.”

Mr Duncan Smith will argue that the huge influx of migrants under Labour led to a boom in cheap labour that undercut British-born workers. As a result, the number of UK-born people living on welfare handouts spiralled. The Work and Pensions Secretary will warn that continuing high levels of immigration could leave millions on benefits for life.

“We have to ensure that our immigration system works in the interests of Britain, enabling us to make a realistic promise to our young school leavers,” he will tell the Foundation for Social Studies and Analysis in Madrid, a think tank close to Spain’s centre-right Popular Party.

“It is part of our contract with the British people. This Government is reforming welfare to make work pay, and to help people back to work.”


UK population growing at fastest rate for 50 years

The UK population is growing at its fastest rate for half a century driven by immigration and an imminent new baby boom.

Almost half a million people were added to the UK population last year – the highest level since 1962 and the start of the last baby boom, figures revealed yesterday. New migrants accounted for almost half the increase while the number of births hit a 20 year high.

However, the increase in children was also partly down to a rise in migrant mothers meaning immigration had both a direct and indirect impact on population growth, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

The trend means enough people to fill the city of Manchester were added to the country last year and, if it that rate continues, the population will hit the 70 million mark by 2026.

The growing figures are a fresh headache for the Government which has pledged to slash immigration. Ministers were last night warned they must “get a grip” on immigration because there is no money to fund the extra pressure on public services.

The UK population grew by 470,000 to 62.3 million in the 12 months to June last year, representing a rise of 0.8 per cent on the previous year. That was both the highest rise and largest growth rate since 1962, the ONS said. It also means the population is growing at four times the rate of the 1980s when it averaged just 0.2 per cent a year.

Almost half the growth was due to a 230,000 net immigration, the difference between those moving to and those leaving the UK, over that period. The other major driver was so-called natural change, the difference between births and deaths, which added an extra 234,000 people to the country.

The total number of births for the year was 797,000, the highest since 1991, and around one in four of those were to non-UK born mothers. The ONS report added: “Past migration has contributed to the increase in natural change through its impact on births.”

Immigration also helped the number of women aged between 15 and 44, which incorporates those of child bearing age, increase by 200,000 to 12.5 million between 2002 and last year.

However, the report stressed that the rise in births is also being driven by older mothers who had put off having children to pursue careers and are now “catching up”.

The rising net migration is a blow to David Cameron who has pledged to bring it down to the “tens of thousands” by 2015. A report released by Oxford University's Migration Observatory last week said it is thought they will only achieve half the desired effect at best.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “The evidence is mounting that the Government must take urgent steps top get a grip on immigration which is a major factor in this growth. “Otherwise, there will be immense extra pressure on public services for which there is simply no money.”

Damian Green, the immigration minister, said: "This is yet more evidence of the impact that a decade of uncontrolled migration has had on the UK. "We are in the process of fixing the immigration system we inherited to ensure that any migration-related population growth is sustainable and brings benefits to the UK. "Net migration has been too high but the controls and reforms we are introducing will bring it back down to the tens of thousands."


No comments:

Post a Comment