Magazine article Public Finance

Immigrant Tax? We Would Prefer £250M Fund, Argues the LGA

Magazine article Public Finance

Immigrant Tax? We Would Prefer £250M Fund, Argues the LGA

Article excerpt

Measuring populations accurately would be more helpful to councils trying to manage migration-related pressures than a new 'immigrant tax', town hall leaders insisted this week.

The Local Government Association declined to endorse Home Office proposals that could mean immigrants contributing to the cost of public services through higher application fees.

Instead the LGA reiterated its call for a £250m migration 'contingency fund' that would allow councils experiencing high levels of migration to apply for extra money. Better figures were also necessary to give a clearer picture of how many migrants were entering the country and where they were settling.

LGA chair Sir Simon Milton said migration generated more than £40bn every year. He said: 'The problem is that the money that is being generated isn't necessarily finding its way back down to the local level.

'Improving alternative sources of information such as GP registrations and National Insurance numbers as part of a new package of measurements would allow the government to gain a much clearer picture of migrant movements. …

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