Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Don't Need Any More Immigrants, Says Adviser

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Don't Need Any More Immigrants, Says Adviser

Article excerpt


ONE of the Government's most senior advisers today warned of the risk ofovercrowding in the South-East unless there is a reduction in immigration.

Lord Turner launched a scathing attack on claims by ministers and businesschiefs that large-scale immigration can be justified on economic grounds.

He accused them of using such arguments, knowing they do not stack up, tojustify an inevitable influx of newcomers and avoid a "racist backlash".

Former CBI director general Lord Turner, who headed up the Pension Commissionset up by Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor and is now chairman of theCommittee on Climate Change, submitted his analysis to a Lords inquiry onimmigration.

Advocating a stable population as more favourable to the wellbeing of people inBritain, he concludes: "The simple answer to the question 'Do we need moreimmigrants and babies?' is no." He believes welfare issues, linked to a growingpopulation, such as disappearing green spaces, housing shortages and transportcongestionall affecting the South-Eastwill have a significantly greater impact than the economic benefits ofimmigration.

But the peer is not in favour of a total clampdown on immigration, which hebelieves can be partially justified on moral grounds, mainly because it helpsnewcomers, especially asylum seekers.

He also supports EU membership for Turkey even if it led to an "undesirablyhigh" immigration surge because he thinks this is outweighed by building closerties with a moderate and secular state with a majority Islamic population.

Most pointedly, though, Lord Turner, a former chairman of the Low PayCommission, tears into the economic arguments for immigration, which hebelieves could send the population spiralling to 75 million by 2050.

Firstly, in his paper entitled "Do we need more immigrants and babies? …

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