Magazine article Public Finance

Illegal Immigrant Amnesty 'Could Raise £1Bn'

Magazine article Public Finance

Illegal Immigrant Amnesty 'Could Raise £1Bn'

Article excerpt

A leading think-tank has called for an amnesty for half a million people living illegally in the UK, claiming that it could raise more than £1bn in tax revenues.

But a former Home Office minister and opposition MPs have dismissed the suggestion, outlined in a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research on March 31, as unworkable.

The Home Office calculates that around 500,000 illegal immigrants live in the UK, many of whom work. The IPPR study, Irregular migration in the UK, claims that the Treasury would raise £1.04bn in potential fiscal revenue if it 'regularised' the status of those immigrants.

That contrasts with the cost of deporting illegal immigrants, which could cost £4.7bn, the centre-Left think-tank suggests.

But, speaking prior to the publication of the IPPR study, former Home Office minister John Denham warned: 'Be very careful if you assume that just 500,000 illegal immigrants would come forward. …

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