Non-EU citizens applying for visas to pay £50 per head 10th July 2009: Immigrants arriving in Britain will fund multilingual teachers in schools. A new levy on them will also be used to encourage foreigners to register with doctors.
These are among 200 projects to be financed by the tax on non-EU migrants. Also included in the list of these projects are measures to crack down on rogue employers and slum landlords.
The immigrants will pay into a Migration Impacts Fund. It is expected to raise £70million over two years; and the amount will go into helping communities deal with the pressures of immigration on their areas and public services.
The levy will be raised by charging non-EU citizens applying for visas £50 a head. For the students, it will be £30 less.
The move has, however, not found favour with the critics, who insist the fund will barely dent the extra costs imposed on Britain by the scale of immigration. Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch think tank, said the amount was peanuts compared to the extra enormous costs needed to support immigration, approaching around a third of a million a year.
Meanwhile, reports indicate the number of illegal migrants stopped at European Union borders has dropped 16 per cent in a year because of the economic crisis.
The European border security agency said the numbers had gone down from 24,000 in the first quarter of 2008 to 20,200 over the same period this year.
Figures of people arriving in Sicily in southern Italy, including on the island of Lampedusa, for January 1 to July 5, 2009 also showed a marked drop in arrivals. Just about 6,760 arrived in 2009, compared with 14,800 the previous year. In terms of percentage, the fall was of 54 percent.