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`The UK has benefited from immigration, but pressures are great’

David Cameron for cutting immigration by 75 per cent

11th January 2010: David Cameron agrees the country has benefited from immigration, but insists the pressures, particularly on our public services, have been very great.

Even as the Home Secretary said he was not spending sleepless nights worrying about the Britain’s population hitting the 70million mark, Cameron said he was paying attention on the pressure on public services due to the new arrivals. This included pressure on health, education and housing.

Airing his views on the need for cutting down the immigration levels and a cap on immigration, Cameron reiterated the numbers would be cut by as much as 75 per cent under a Conservative government.

Cameron made it clear that he wanted to see annual net immigration levels — the difference between the numbers leaving and arriving — fall from the 200,000 in the recent years to as less as the ‘tens of thousands’ under the Thatcher and Major governments.

Cameron’s statement clearly indicates that reduction to the levels of the 1990s would mean around 50,000 immigrants a year would be allowed to settle in Britain. The fall would be of three-quarters on numbers seen under Labour.

Stressing upon the need to have a cap on immigration, he added the upper limit would be determined each year, depending on the needs of the economy.

The assertion came during an interview in which Cameron brought to the fore the plans to cut further and faster than Labour the £178billion budget deficit.
Cameron said the Tories would require foreign students to pay a deposit of up to £6,000. It would be repaid only when they returned home.

Cameron said the Tories would also tighten up on bogus colleges and prohibit people from alternating between student and work visas.

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