UK Immigration: Budget Watchdog Warns On Governments Immigration Curbs

Richard Chote, head of the Office for Budget Responsibility, has today warned the coalition government that cutting the number of foreign workers in the UK will make it harder for the government to clear its deficit. The government’s independent economic forecaster told MP’s today that immigration has a positive impact on the public finances and Britain’s debt will go up if David Cameron meets his key immigration target. David Cameron has pledged to cut net migration to “tens of thousands” by the next election which could in the long term have a negative impact on the UK’s economy.

OBR: Lower Migration Could Push Debt Levels

In a report published in 2013, OBR said that more migrants are needed to fund the rising cost of pensions, social care and the NHS. Richard Chote, recognised that immigration produces a “more beneficial” picture for the government’s finances.

He stated: “Because they’re more likely to be working age, they’re more likely to be paying taxes and less likely to have relatively large sums of money spent on them for education, for long term care, for healthcare, for expenditure.”

Latest official data shows that there was a net flow of 182,000 long term migrants to the UK in the year ending June 2013, the first annual increase for two years. Richard Chote reiterated the OBR’s judgement contained in the Fiscal Sustainability Report it published in July – that higher inward migration was “beneficial” for the long term public finances, all else being equal.

Lib Dems: Net Migration Target Will Stop Employers from Hiring Skilled Workers

The Conservative’s migration target is not government policy as the Lib Dems do not back it as they believe that it is arbitrary and may stop employers hiring people with specific skills. In November last year, a report from a leading macroeconomic think-tank, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), argued there was a “positive and significant association” between higher employment of migrants and productivity.

The Tier 2 (General) category of the Points Based System is for non-European migrants who have been offered a skilled job  by a UK employer to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker. Under this category, foreign applicants must have a job offer in the UK and a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an organisation that is a licenced sponsor in the UK. 

Successful UK Work Visa Applications

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If you are planning on visiting the UK or migrating to the UK and wish to know how the government’s plans affect you, please contact us so that we can provide you with comprehensive legal advice.

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