More government confusion over impact of immigration cap

There is further uncertainty over how the government will achieve its stated goal of reducing net immigration to the "tens of thousands" - an aim reiterated by David Cameron in a speech on new technology in east London this afternoon. Yesterday, the prime minister said intra-company transfers would be exempted from the immigration cap - an area over which immigration minister Damian Green came unstuck on Newsnight last night.

There is further uncertainty over how the government will achieve its stated goal of reducing net immigration to the “tens of thousands” – an aim reiterated by David Cameron in a speech on new technology in east London this afternoon. Yesterday, the prime minister said intra-company transfers would be exempted from the immigration cap – an area over which immigration minister Damian Green came unstuck on Newsnight last night.

As quoted by Jeremy Paxman, the Home Affairs Committee report into the immigration cap says:

to make any significant reduction in non-EEA economic immigration, a cap would have to include intra-company transfers, which in 2009 accounted for 60% of all Tier 2 visas and 40% of Tier 1 and 2 combined. We recommend that intra-company transfers under 2 years’ duration should be excluded from the cap.

Yet Green insisted:

“… what the select committee says is that all inter-company transfers for under two years should be completely exempt, what the select committee says is that you have to operate on all routes, not just the work routes, but the student route, and the family route as well, and I completely agree with that, indeed, I’ve been saying that for years.”

Adding:

“Read the rest of it because what they’re saying is that the, what they, they make the point that about a fifth of net immigration is due to the work routes which the cap will apply for, and I completely agree with that, that’s why, once we’ve got this limit on, we are going to look at the student routes, and we’re going to look at the family routes because you do have to bear down on all types of immigration to hit the tens of thousands.”

Watch it:

Yesterday, Left Foot Forward looked at the illogicality of the immigration cap as it it (presently, the interim cap is cutting immigration by only around 1 per cent), and the need to abandon or redefine it, pointing out the report’s conclusion which said:

… the proposed cap – unless it is set close to 100% – will have little significant impact on overall immigration levels.

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