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LABOUR’S immigration policies were denounced as “madness’’ yesterday after an official report highlighted how Britain’s population is expected to soar.

One new household will be formed every two minutes until 2021, almost half of it driven by immigration, according to projections which have been steadily revised upwards in recent years.

Around 70 per cent of the population increase up to 2031 will be due to immigration, according to the Government. By 2021, newcomers will account for nearly four in 10 of the four million new households formed in England and Wales.

Labour MP Frank Field and Conservative Sir Nicholas Soames, chairmen of Parliament’s cross-party Group on Balanced Migration, said: “As we face severe cuts in public spending, it is the politics of madness to continue with immigration policies that will mean us having to provide thousands of new homes for newcomers.

“Not to mention the necessary roads, schools and hospitals on this unprecedented scale, when our own citizens, both black and white, cannot get homes.’’

The figures were spelt out in the Office for National Statistics’ latest Regional Trends report.

It showed that the projected number of households in England and Wales will rise by nearly four million over 15 years, from 21.52 million in 2006 to 25.44 million in 2021.

Of these, more than a million will be in London and the South-east. By 2031, experts forecast there will be a further 2.5 million households in England – a total of 27.82 million.

The Group on Balanced Migration said the Government now envisaged there would be nearly 1.5 million more households in 2021 than it was forecasting just three years ago. In 2006, the Government estimated there would be 24 million households in 2021.

Last year it revised the projection to 24.97 million. Now it believes there will be 25.44 million.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of thinktank Migrationwatch, said: “For years the Government have been in denial about the massive impact of immigration on housing.

“They cannot any longer deny we will have to build a new home every five minutes for the next 15 years just for new immigrants.

“Given the financial crisis that the Government faces, this is absolutely crazy. Where is all the money going to come from to build not only houses but also schools, hospitals and roads that will be needed?”

Tory immigration spokesman Damain Green said: “This is why we propose to establish an annual limit on the number of work permits issued, along the lines of the Australian and American systems.

“This is the best way to bring some control over our immigration numbers.’’ Immigration has spiralled upwards under Labour since 1997. It jumped massively after the Government decided that citizens of 10 eastern and central European countries, which joined the EU in 2004, should be allowed to work in Britain as well as travel here.

This week it emerged that the number of immigrants granted British citizenship had increased by more than half in a year.

A total of 54,615 applications were approved in the first three months of 2009 – 57 per cent more than in the same period last year. If the trend continues, the total this year is likely to reach 220,000, dwarfing the record of 164,540 in 2007. continues here

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