Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Immigrants Will Swamp Services, Warns Cameron

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Immigrants Will Swamp Services, Warns Cameron

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL WAUGH

DAVID CAMERON warned today that Britain's rapidly expanding populationwould "overwhelm" housing, schools and transport unless action was taken tocombat immigration and family breakdown.

The Tory leader said that Labour was failing to grasp the significance of thepopulation explosion of recent years and only a Conservative government had aplan to deal with it as a whole.

Mr Cameron said that although immigration had some positive benefits, it wasclear that it was soaking up "large quantities of additional housing" andputting pressure on schools.

Singling out London, he said that town halls were struggling to cope with thesheer number of children speaking foreign languages and needed extra cash toteach them English. He added that the population increase was having a "markedeffect" on traffic congestion, again particularly in the capital.

Mr Cameron said that Gordon Brown's policies on the NHS, schools and housing"are quite simply overwhelmed by his failure to deal with the root causes ofour demographic challenge".

Some Labour sources told the Standard they believed the Tory leader was set toplay the immigration card even more blatantly than his predecessor MichaelHoward.

But Mr Cameron said that "it was time we had a grown-up conversation" aboutdemographic change caused by higher immigration, more single households due todivorce and longer life expectancy.

In a speech to the think tank Policy Exchange, he warned that the projectedrise in population from 60 million today to 71 million by 2031 was"unsustainable" for the environment and key services.

"These trends will put pressure on our national infrastructure, particularly inkey areas like housing, public services and transport," he said. "Thesedemographic changes, and the pressure they will cause, will make it moredifficult for a Conservative government to deliver its vision of opportunity,responsibility and security. …

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