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Record-high immigration fails to boost UK economy and worsens housing crisis: ‘Government has betrayed the British public’

Record-high immigration has failed to boost the British economy while exacerbating the housing crisis and placing increasing pressure on public services, according to a comprehensive and damning new report.

The Taking Back Control report, released on Wednesday by think tank the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), also highlighted the dramatic increase in the non-White British population, the extremely uneven geographic distribution of recently arrived immigrants, the vast difference in contributions made by migrants from different regions, and two decades of broken promises by Conservative and Labour governments alike.

The authors, former immigration minister Robert Jenrick MP, former minister Neil O’Brien MP, and CPS Research Director Karl Williams, recommended a drastic intake reduction, caps on main migrant routes, and the creation of a new government department to control immigration.

Mr Jenrick said: “It would be unforgivable if the Government did not use the time before the general election to undo the disastrous post-Brexit liberalisations that betrayed the express wishes of the British public for lower immigration.

“The changes we propose today would finally return numbers to the historical norm and deliver the highly-selective, highly-skilled immigration system voters were promised. These policies could be implemented immediately and would consign low-skilled mass migration to the past.”

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Mr O’Brien MP argued that the report showed that mass immigration has not provided the benefits its advocates claim, pointing to a significant slowdown in GBP per capita growth.

“[Mass immigration] has also put significant strain on public services and infrastructure: migrants may bring skills with them but they cannot bring additional roads, school places, or GPs surgeries. Unprecedented levels of migration have put upward pressure on rents and house prices,” he said.

“The public have repeatedly voted for parties who commit to controlling immigration, now we need to deliver.”

Mr Williams said that the huge disparities between the contributions made by migrants from different countries showed that immigration was not the “unqualified benefit to the public purse” that Treasury and most of the government have long claimed.

“The average migrant from New Zealand or the Philippines is almost twice as likely to be in work as a new arrival from Iraq, and 50% more likely than a migrant from Bangladesh or Somalia,” he said.

“The pressure on housing can also differ even for those from similar regions – for example, only 6% of people from India live in social housing compared to 15% from Pakistan and 34% from Bangladesh.”

The report warned that without the author’s suggested changes, immigration levels were unlikely to decrease over the longer term, and that “the demographics of [British] schools indicate that further rapid change is already baked in” – 73% of the students in East Ham, London, have a first language other than English.

“90% of those in England and Wales aged 65 and over describe themselves as White British, compared to two thirds of those aged 45 or younger,” the report notes.

“When you combine age and place, the variation becomes even greater. A 45-year-old Londoner picked at random has a roughly 3 in 10 chance of identifying as White British. For a 65-year-old in the North East, the odds would be 49 out of 50.

“Between 2001 and 2021, the proportion of the population who do not identify as White British more than doubled, from 12.5% to 25.6%.”

The report also analysed the “immense gap” between the worldviews of British parliament and the voters when it comes to immigration.

“In every general election since 1992m the winning party has promised tight control and in every election since 2010 to actively reduce overall migration. The democratic problem arises from the fact that having made such promises, politicians have then gone on to break them – over and over again, for 30 years,” the authors wrote.

“Within government there is a perception across multiple departments that immigration is an unqualified economic good, at least in terms of meetings the objectives of that particular department.”

The authors found that public trust in politicians has plummeted as a result, which if not regained will lead to the rise of a populist political party similar to those surging in EU countries at present.

“[The fall in public trust] should be a cause of concern to anyone who believes in democracy as a political system and is worried about the diminishing regard in which it is now held,” the report stated.

“Failure to uphold promises on migration has been utterly corrosive to people’s confidence that their vote has some say in the running of the country.”

All graphs in this article are credited to the Centre for Policy Studies report Taking Back Control: Why Britain needs a better approach to immigration

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