UK Immigration numbers are set for a dramatic decline of ‘tens of thousands’ during 2012. This is according to an official report recently released by independent ‘Thinktank’, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
The IPPR identifies the economic recession as the key factor behind the expected decrease in UK Immigration numbers. Estimated figures given by the IPPR show that numbers of EU and non-EU migrants are expected to fall from 220,000 to around 180,000 during 2012. However, the report also states that the government is still very unlikely to meet its overall immigration target.
The figures are based on research conducted by the Home Office and the Office for National Statistics, with the IPPR providing overall analysis, taking into consideration the current economic climate that Britain finds itself in.
The conclusions drawn by the IPPR report give a damning assessment of the coalition government’s methods of dealing with Britain’s economic crisis. The IPPR claims that the government strategy is actually doing more harm than good; in particular the main policy – which involves putting a cap on the number of skilled migrants outside the EU allowed into the UK – has had no effect.
The IPPR report has identified that the forced cap of 21,700 skilled migrants from outside the EU entering the UK is completely irrelevant to the cause because Britain’s businesses are employing less staff.
The report states: ”It is slightly odd to see a government making a virtue of their flagship policy not actually having had any effect. The more serious conclusion is that the experience of the cap so far should not be seen as a vindication of the policy.”
Furthermore, when it comes to illegal Immigration, the IPPR report comprehensively concludes that the government “has failed to make any headway.” The IPPR openly accuses the government of manipulating figures to show that the number of illegal immigrants being deported from the UK is rising.
The report cites: ”Beyond this, the government’s new policies amount to little more than a somewhat gimmicky, and arguably rather unpleasant, ‘shop-an-illegal’ helpline.”
The IPPR has warned that this ‘smoke and mirrors’ approach to the issue of Immigration will only add to the discontent of the people, because the government is quite simply failing to deliver on its election promise of reducing UK immigration figures.
The report says: ”By promising what it cannot deliver, the government, far from achieving its aim of taking the heat out of this emotive issue, will instead feed the public’s sense of disillusionment.”
Further concerns identified by the report surrounds the issue of the expected decrease of foreign prisoners deported from the UK, which has yet to materialise. The report also highlights that the government has delivered a “generally disappointing performance on removing irregular migrants and refused asylum seekers.”
The IPPR says: “Such initiatives will be hampered by UK Border Agency spending cuts and asylum numbers will continue to hover around the 20,000 mark of recent years.”
The IPPR report also outlines that Immigration policies that are having a negative effect on the UK economy include attempts to reduce the number of UK Study Visa applications. In particular the government has removed an option for students studying in the UK to remain in the country and work once graduating.
Yet despite evidence provided by the IPPR’s report, government ministers remain convinced that Immigration policies are working and that the overall target of reducing Immigration numbers to the ‘tens of thousands’ is still plausible.
Immigration minister, Damian Green, said: “The latest quarterly figures show that Student Visas issued are down 13% and the main Work Visas issued are down 18% compared to last year – an early sign that our policies are starting to take effect.”