Squeeze on highly skilled non-EU migrants could damage economy: MAC

Warning comes as consultations on immigration come to close on 9 September 5th September 2011: The squeeze on highly skilled non-EU migrants entering Britain has come under fire from the Government’s own advisory body on immigration.
The Government’s Migration Advisory Council (MAC) has issued a stern warning that the country’s economy could suffer a permanent damage if the squeeze  continues.

The warning comes just as consultations on fresh measures to bring down the levels of permanent immigration to the UK come to a close on 9 September.

Once implemented, some of the measures could not only limit the right of migrants to settle, but also prevent them from staying beyond five years.

Already in April, the government had capped the number of migrants from the highly skilled Tier 1 and Tier 2 at 22,000.

MAC says at a time when the economy is struggling to recover, £560m will be sliced from Britain’s GDP, each time the number of people in these groups coming to the UK falls by 10,000.

The significant report, "Limits on Tier 1 and Tier 2 for 2011/2012 and Supporting Policies", said: "Tier 1 and 2 migration makes a small but positive contribution to GDP per head. Such effects will accumulate over time and become more significant."
The report also warns that the curbs will not be uniformly spread. These may, rather, have a harsh impact on certain sectors. The City of London has relied on a plentiful supply of skilled non-EU workers.

The Immigration minister, Damian Green, said: "For too long immigration has been out of control and this Government is committed to having a system which benefits the brightest and the best but curbs the number of people coming into the country who are detrimental to the economy."

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