The Tories are punishing business with their 'bizarre' immigration target, industry group says

The Institute of Directors says the target is unachievable

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David Cameron is “punishing business” with the Tories’ “bizarre” target to reduce net immigration, a business group has said.

The Institute of Directors called for a comprehensive immigration review to provide clarity on what specific policies would be put in place to meet the target.

"Scrabbling around to find measures to hit a bizarre and unachievable migration target is no way to give British businesses the stable environment they need,” said Simon Walker, the organisation’s director general.

"Combined with ministers' increasingly strong rhetoric on immigration, the UK's reputation as an open, competitive economy is under threat."

At the general election David Cameron re-commited to a longstanding target to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands”.

The Office for National Statistics will today release its latest net migration figures, which will give a guide on how far the Government has moved towards this goal.

Analysts expect the numbers to show migration levels three times higher than the Government’s target.

 

The IoD and the think tank British Future have called on the Government to instruct its Migration Advisory Committee to set out the risks and benefits of the target policy.

These could take the form of being economic, social, or cultural, the organisations said.

Despite the criticism from industry, public concern about immigration is the highest in recent memory, according to a poll by Ipsos MORI.

Fifty per cent of the public said migration was one of the most important issues facing the UK.

This is the highest level ever recorded by a monthly tracker poll conducted for the Economist newspaper.

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