The Queen’s Speech today announced details of the Government’s new Immigration Bill. The precise details of the bill remain sketchy, but details the Government has released so far include proposals to regulate migrants’ access to the NHS, increase fines against businesses using illegal labour, require private landlords to check tenants’ status, and prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining driving licenses.
The economics behind this is utterly flawed. Migrants already contribute more in tax than they take in services as the Business for New Europe report released today notes, and EU migrants are proportionately less likely to claim benefits than the resident population.
But we know that the Government is not pursuing this line on migration due to economic demand. Instead they are making a cynical move to fend off accusations by the right of the Conservative Party that they had no credible response to UKIP. who captured so many votes last week with a stridently anti-migrant message.