Welcoming most aspects of the Migration Advisory Committee’s report published today (18th September) Policy Exchange’s Head of Demography, Immigration and Integration David Goodhart said:
“Policy Exchange welcomes most of the MAC report on EU migration which is typically hard-headed and balanced and does not accept the often-repeated-as-fact argument that free movement has unambiguously ’clear‘ economic benefits.
“As Policy Exchange recommended in Immigration After Brexit, the MAC calls for a new Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme, an extension of the Youth Mobility Visa to younger EU citizens and an extension of the Intra-Company Transfer scheme to EU companies. But it rightly proposes no special route for low-skilled workers from the EU.
“Surprisingly, the MAC’s final report found no evidence of reduced training budgets as a result of EU migration despite pointing to evidence of exactly that in its interim report in March.
“Although the MAC found that EEA/EU migrants as a whole pay more in than they take out in services and benefits, we should remember that this only applies to people earning £30,000 or more which is only a small proportion of workers from the New Member States (NMS).
“The report found the impact of EU migration on public services, which has been one of the main public complaints arising from the higher than expected NMS migration after 2004, was minimal with the exception of housing: as people have reported for years, European migration has pushed up house prices and lengthened waiting lists for social housing.”