Plans to cut migration 'likely to fail' report finds

Government plans to cut net migration to the tens of thousands in four years are likely to fail, a report has found.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May want to bring annual net migration down from the current 242,000 to tens of thousands of people by 2015.

But they will only achieve half that figure at best, according to analysis by Oxford University's Migration Observatory.

Reforms to the immigration system will not help reduce numbers far enough or fast enough, leaving net migration at around 165,000 by 2015, the report said.

Mr Cameron admitted yesterday that the Liberal Democrats were preventing the Tories from taking tougher action on immigration.

"We've all had to make compromises," he told BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright in the Afternoon.

"If I was running a Conservative-only Government I think we would be making further steps on things like immigration control or making sure that our welfare reforms were absolutely making sure that if you're not prepared to work you can't go on welfare," he said.

"I think we'd be tougher than that."

But shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the report showed the Government had "no workable policies" to meet its promise and that its immigration policy was in "complete disarray".

Changes to work and student visas are expected to cut net migration by a respective 11,000 and 56,000 people by 2015, Government figures show.

The Migration Observatory also found that changes to family visas will cut the numbers by 8,000 at most, while plans to make it harder for migrants to settle in the UK are unlikely to reduce migration flows until 2016.

Scott Blinder, senior researcher at the observatory, said: "The Government's current policies only look likely to reduce net migration by about 75,000 at best, which would mean that further reductions of more than 67,000 would be needed to meet the tens of thousands net migration target."

To achieve the 100,000 target, the Government will either have to further tighten immigration rules or "reconsider the target or the time-frame in which they intend to deliver it", the report said.

The Government could also hope that more British and EU nationals emigrate from the UK or that current assessments are "way off the mark". But the report said these two options are "pretty unlikely".

Ms Cooper said: "David Cameron pledged to cut net migration to the tens of thousands just two months ago, saying, 'No ifs, no buts, that's a promise to the British people'. This report shows the Government has no workable policies to meet that promise and David Cameron is not being straight with the British people.

"There is a massive gap between the Prime Minister's rhetoric on immigration and the reality of his policies. It is irresponsible of the Prime Minister to make promises that bear no relationship to the practice."

She went on: "Last week we learnt that their changes to the student visas system would cost the UK economy £2.4 billion and would still only have half the impact on net migration that they promised.

"Recent reports also show the Government is failing to ensure the UK Border Agency has the resources it needs to effectively enforce immigration rules, with 5,000 cuts in staff and no chief executive in place after five months.

"At the heart of their policies is chaos, confusion, rows between ministers and misleading measures which will fail to properly safeguard both the economy and the UK's borders."

Responding to the report, immigration minister Damian Green repeated the Government's pledge to cut net migration to less than 100,000 by 2015.

"For too long the immigration system was allowed to get out of control," he said.

"This Government will tackle abuse of the system and get net migration reduced back down to the tens of thousands in the lifetime of this Parliament."

Earlier, Mr Cameron said the Liberal Democrats were preventing the Tories from taking tougher action on immigration.

"We've all had to make compromises," he told BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright in the Afternoon.

"If I was running a Conservative-only Government I think we would be making further steps on things like immigration control or making sure that our welfare reforms were absolutely making sure that if you're not prepared to work you can't go on welfare," he said.

"I think we'd be tougher than that.

"We make compromises, we make agreements, but as a Government I think we're delivering a lot of good things for the country."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower