Magazine article Public Finance

Migration Policy Comes under Fire

Magazine article Public Finance

Migration Policy Comes under Fire

Article excerpt

A cross-government policy for managing the impacts of migration has been criticised for failing to do enough to support local services and for 'stoking up community tensions'.

The Department for Communities and Local Government published Managing the impacts of migration: a cross government approach on June 11. It details how the government is managing migration, including the provision of £12m to improve migration data, £10m funding for schools with rapid growth in pupil numbers, £50m funding over three years for community cohesion and a Transitional Impacts Migration Fund.

The transitional impacts fund for local public services, which will be financed from increased fees for immigration applications (expected to be operational from April 2009), prompted the Local Government Association to repeat calls for a contingency fund of £250m for councils.

The LGA believes the DCLG's fund will be insufficient to help local authorities cope with population changes.

LGA chair Sir Simon Milton said: 'Migration is benefiting the country, generating in total over ?40bn every year. The evidence shows that industries such as fruit picking and residential care would risk collapse without migrant labour. …

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