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UK issues report critical of mass immigration

The UK Migration Advisory Committee issued a report questioning mass immigration of low-skilled workers post-Brexit. 

Published: September 19, 2018, 9:02 am

    The report said: “If the UK is in a position [post-Brexit] where it is deciding the main features of its immigration policy, our recommendation is that there should be a less restrictive regime for higher-skilled workers than for lower-skilled workers in a system where there is no preference for EEA over non-EEA workers.”

    Mass immigration has decreased wages for the poorest while increasing house prices in Britain. According to the report, there is “some evidence that migration has reduced earnings growth for the lower-paid and raised it for the higher-paid”, reduring employment and raising unemployment for “the young and less well-educated”.

    Rising house prices has been a simple economic consequence of increased demand, according to MAC. The report further noted that “there is some evidence that migration has increased house prices. This impact is higher in areas with more restrictive planning policies where it is harder for the housing stock to increase in line with demand”.

    Social housing particularly, has benefitted migrants:  “The share of new tenancies going to migrants from the NMS (new member states) in particular is rising,” given that few new social housing projects have been launched which comes “inevitably at the expense of other potential tenants”.

    It warned that if housing supply did not increase to keep up with demand, this could “reduce the access to social housing for the UK-born”.

    The report concluded that there was no guarantee that “[…] migration is to the benefit of the resident population”.

    As well as making it easier for skilled workers to enter the UK, the MAC also suggested limiting access to those in lower skilled roles.

    Between December 2017 and March 2018, thousands of foreigners who were eligible for Tier 2 visas were refused because of current government caps, with around 3 500 of those refusals being for those skilled in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) as well as medicine, among other skills the UK is in need of.

    Previous research has also found 7 percent of jobs in the UK’s digital tech sector were filled by non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals and 45 percent of net employment growth in the UK’s tech sector comes from overseas.

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