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Immigration report brave, but not brave enough

In response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on immigration:

Business group London First, which has been most critical of the Government’s immigration cap proposals has described today’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report as “brave, but not brave enough”.

Baroness Jo Valentine, CEO of London First said:

“The Committee was asked what sort of cap was needed next year for skilled and highly skilled immigrants from outside the EU, in order to meet the Government’s target of slashing net immigration. It wasn’t asked whether that was a sensible target.

“So it is quite brave of them to point out, more than once in the document that the economic case argues against capping these highly skilled and skilled individuals. There is a case nevertheless for tightening the thresholds – minimum salaries, rare, sought after skills etc. The Government has already said, much to the relief of big employers, that subject to certain criteria, international moves within companies will be excluded from the cap.

“It’s difficult to reconcile the clear evidence that the UK economy benefits from these talented people with the suggestion that numbers should be capped at all, let alone at the level suggested. So the MAC has been brave, but not brave enough.

“But today’s report is just advice. The Government itself now has to choose whether to sacrifice economic growth, taxes and jobs, to meet an inadvisable political target.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

London First is a business membership organisation with a mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure

London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes further education colleges and all of London’s universities. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

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