Employment law

IoD warns government its bizarre? immigration targets will punish businesses

Rebecca Smith | 27 August 2015 | 9 years ago

The Home Office has said it remains committed to reducing the net immigration total to the tens of thousands
The Home Office has said it remains committed to reducing the net immigration total to the tens of thousands
Business leaders have requested the Home Office undertake a robust assessment of what the government’s bizarre and unachievable? net migration target would mean for the UK’s economy, as well as its culture.

Recent proposals outlined in the upcoming Immigration Bill indicated small firms would be some of those being focused on with illegal workers in Britain and Wales facing up to six months in prison. Small firms such as convenience shops, takeaway restaurants and pubs which are found to be employing illegal migrants could end up losing their licences.

Immigration minister James Brokenshire said the crackdown on employers who hire illegal migrants would include a new policy giving officials the power to close businesses for up to 48 hours while they investigate.

Now the Institute of Directors and the British Future think-tank claimed ministers had no long-term plan? to bring down net migration to tens of thousands and called upon them to undertake a review of the impact of proposals that might be put in place to reach it.

Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, said: ‘scrabbling around to find measures to hit a bizarre and unachievable migration target is no way to give British businesses the stable environment they need.

He warned that this coupled with minister’s increasingly strong rhetoric on immigration? means the UK’s reputation as an open, competitive economy is under threat.

Upcoming figures are expected to show net migration is more than three times higher than the government’s target and the IOD and British Future are concerned that radical policies preventing migrants arriving in the UK will harm the economy.

Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, said: It is little wonder there is such low public trust on immigration and the government’s ability to manage it.

He added that responding to each damaging set of immigration figures with new ad-hoc policies is no way to manage such an important issue.

The groups have said David Cameron and Theresa May should ask for expert body the Migration Advisory Committee to set out plans for dealing with immigration, which should then be put to the general public through town hall meetings across the country with a citizens’ jury to convey public opinion.

Katwala said a comprehensive review would give the public more of a say in what happens providing impartial facts about the impacts of different policies on the economy, society and public services.

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