Will the migration target be lowered? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt suggests ministers will try to get a net figure below 245,000 as current levels are “too high”
- Chancellor Jeremy Hunt appeared before the Lords Committee on Economic Affairs
- Questioned after net migration forecast increased to 245,000 from 129,000 last year
Jeremy Hunt suggested yesterday that ministers try to bring net migration below 245,000 a year because the figure was “too high”.
Colleagues questioned the Chancellor on the issue after the Office for Budgetary Responsibility last week forecast net migration to be around 245,000 in the long term. This was higher than the forecast of 129,000 last year.
The tax watchdog also projected that 1.6 million people will arrive in the UK in the next five years, 300,000 more than previously thought.
Appearing before the Lords’ economic affairs committee, Hunt acknowledged that the growth in the job supply was being driven by immigration.
But when asked if the 245,000 figure was “too high”, he suggested that it was and that the government planned to reduce it below this.
Jeremy Hunt (pictured) suggested ministers try to bring net migration below 245,000 a year because the number was “too high”.
He said: “If you want to change our economic model, which I think is what the country decided when we collectively voted for Brexit, to a model that doesn’t rely on unlimited migration… then you have to have another plan.”
Mr. Hunt added: “I hope we see, in future migration forecasts, an economy that is less reliant on migration… I want to move to a high-wage, high-skill economy.”
It comes after the latest census data showed immigrants are more likely to have jobs than native Britons.
The Office for National Statistics found that just 55.9% of UK-born 16-year-olds and over were employed on census day 2021, compared to 70.8% of those in the EU and 58% from the rest of the world.
Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants had the highest employment rates (80.4 per cent), while people born in the British Overseas Territories, including the Falklands, Gibraltar and Bermuda, had the lowest (45.8 per cent). hundred).
Colleagues questioned the Chancellor on the issue after the Office for Budgetary Responsibility last week forecast net migration to be around 245,000 in the long term.