Thursday, 18 November 2010 - London Independent
The Government faces an "unpalatable choice" between an immigration policy that will damage the economy or the possibility of failing to fulfil a key promise, a think-tank said today.
The Migration Advisory Committee's (MAC) recommendation for the level of the proposed cap on non-EU migrant workers showed the scale of the challenge faced by the Government as it aims to deliver its pledge to cut net migration from 196,000 to the tens of thousands by 2015.
Visas for students will have to be more than halved and family visas will face a 20% cut alongside a proposed reduction of between 6,300 and 12,600 in the number of non-EU migrant workers for 2011/12, the MAC said.
Such workers generally earn more and have a higher employment rate than the average British worker, leading to a £6 reduction in the GDP per head.
Sarah Mulley, associate director at the Institute for Public Policy Research, said the report implied that "implementing such drastic cuts in entry visas over the next four years would have serious consequences for the UK"...more