25 November 2008

UK immigrants getting more benefits than expected

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The number of immigrants filling jobs in the UK rose by almost half a million over the past two years and figures show many of these immigrants are, on average, earning more than their British counterparts, reports the Telegraph.

According to the news source, immigration has reached its second highest level since Labour came into power 11 years ago.  Over this period, UK immigration has contributed to around two-thirds of British employment growth.

The Office of National Statistics paints an even better picture for those who have moved to the UK to work.  The figures show, on average, 18 to 24-year-old UK immigrants and foreign workers aged over 50 years are earning more than their British counterparts do.

The Opposition is criticising Britain's PM Gordon Brown for not having greater control of immigration.

The Shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, said, "This makes a mockery of Gordon Brown's ill-advised comment that he would create British jobs for British workers." 

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said, "The number of jobs in the economy is not fixed but it is striking that there has been a major increase in the employment of economic migrants of nearly half a million while the number of British people in employment has fallen by 149,000 in the same period."

"It is hard to believe that these two developments are entirely unconnected."

A spokesperson from the Home Office said the government's new system for immigration is still in the fledgling stages, although recent studies are proving migration is not having "negative employment effects" in the UK.

"The tough new points system will ensure only those foreign workers we need – and no more – can come here to work.  It is also flexible, allowing us to raise or lower the bar according to the needs of the labour market and the country as a whole," she added.


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.


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