Thursday, August 29, 2013
Net Migration to UK 'Shows Increase'
the Office for National Statistics says.
Latest figures show net migration rose to 176,000 - up from 153,000
people in the year to September 2012.
The increase appears to buck the trend of a decline in net migration -
the difference between the number of people coming to and leaving the
country, reports the BBC.
Prime Minister David Cameron wants to get UK net migration below
100,000 before the next election in 2015.
The increase was driven by a drop in the number of migrants leaving
Britain, which fell from 351,000 to 321,000 in the year to December
2012, the ONS found.
Over the same period, the number of immigrants arriving in the country
dropped from 566,000 to 497,000, figures showed.
BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani said the reasons for
the rise were complex and partly related to the fact that fewer people
were emigrating from the UK than the government expected.
If fewer people leave the UK, then the net migration balance can rise,
even if the number of immigrants arriving declines or remains static,
Immigration minister Mark Harper said net migration was down bya third
since its peak in 2010.
He added that a new immigration bill coming into force in the autumn
would make it more difficult for people to come into Britain if they
had no right to do so and would make it easier to remove people who
were not entitled to stay in the country.
"We are committed to bringing net migration down from the hundreds of
thousands to the tens of thousands," Harper said.
"We are working across government to protect public services and
ensure our welfare system is not open to abuse."
Sarah Mulley, of the centre-left think tank, the Institute for
PublicPolicy Research, said the statistics suggested the government
wasrunning out of options to meet its target.
"Recent declines have been driven in large part by falling numbersof
international students, which has come at a high economic cost, but
this trend now appears to be levelling off," she said.
Other figures released in the report include:
*97,000 immigrants from New Commonwealth countries, which include
Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan came to the UK
in the year ending December 2012, compared to 151,000 in the previous
year. This drop is understood to be the result of fewer people
arriving to study in the UK from those countries
*58,000 immigrants arrived from countries which joined the EU in 2004,
including Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania, down from 77,000
the previous year
*The number of immigrants arriving for study in the UK is now similar
to the estimated number of people arriving in the UK for work. About
180,000 arrived in the UK for formal study in the year to December
2012, compared with 232,000 the previous year