Think tank dubs UK work permit plans impractical

31 Oct 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A leading think tank has criticised the governments immigration plan, including its crackdown on UK work permits, as being impractical and possible detrimental to society and the economy.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) stated that the government's “radical policy shift” when it comes to immigration can be boiled down to the idea that only the wealthiest economic migrants from outside of the EU will be permitted to settle.

Indeed, the IPPR's report suggested that just 1,000 non-EU economic migrants would be able to settle in the UK each year once all of the policy changes have come into force. This compares to a previous average of around 40,000.

The paper stated: "For those who care only about reducing net migration, trying to keep settlement to a minimum makes sense.

"But for anyone who cares about Britain's ability to continue to attract the 'brightest and best', about the impact on the economy as we try to grow our way out of recession, and about the effects on integration within our society, these proposals raise real concerns."

Among the changes put forward by the UK immigration minister Damian Green are plans to encourage people on UK work permits to see their position in the UK as temporary.

Those coming to the country from outside the EU to fill in short term skills shortages “should expect to leave the UK after a maximum of five years”, Mr Green noted.

The report, meanwhile, disagreed with the plans, suggesting that the government's immigration policy could even prove unpopular with the UK population, something of a rarity for a tough stance on immigration.