We don't need any more immigrants, says senior Labour adviser

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

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

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

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

Advocating a stable population as more favourable to the wellbeing of people in Britain, he concludes: "The simple answer to the question 'Do we need more immigrants and babies?' is no."

He believes welfare issues, linked to a growing population, such as disappearing green spaces, housing shortages and transport congestion - all affecting the South-East - will have a significantly greater impact than the economic benefits of immigration.

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

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

Most pointedly, though, Lord Turner, a former chairman of the Low Pay Commission, tears into the economic arguments for immigration, which he believes could send the population spiralling to 75 million by 2050. Firstly, in his paper entitled "Do we need more immigrants and babies?î, he rejects claims that without immigrants Britain would face a shortage of workers as mostly "economically illiterate."

"If we had fewer immigrants, the average wage rate of an office cleaner might be a bit higher, and businesses would pay the extra charge, clean the office less frequently, or use more efficient vacuum cleaners, but we would not have some offices cleaned just as now and others not cleaned at all," he said.

While capitalists and skilled employees had benefited from immigration from eastern Europe, some unskilled workers had been disadvantaged with wages kept lower, and overall the benefit to the UK had been small, he argued......article conts (-)


It’s very brave of Lord Turner, unfortunately no one will listen and even should we halt immigration tomorrow, we would still face a considerable dilemma.

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