Huge levels of EU immigration to the UK are putting a squeeze on school places and social housing while also pushing up house prices, according to government review.
The Home Office’s report into how the European Union’s freedom of movement principle is affecting the UK was finally published today after months of bickering between Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers, but the Sun claims to have seen a leaked copy.
The report says: “Overall, the evidence suggests that EU migration has had similar effects to migration from elsewhere, for example by adding to demand for primary school places and both private and social housing”.
There is also “evidence of increased homelessness in some locations”.
Local authorities are also facing “increasing pressure on budgets and existing services” as they have to provide extra translation and interpretation resources for migrants who cannot speak English.
Although the report finds that increased immigration has been good for bosses, with a wide variety of skilled labour coming in, the effects are felt differently in different parts of society. For median earners, immigration has had a “positive” impact, but for lower skilled workers there has been a negative impact on wages and job opportunities.
For example, one study cited shows that for every 10 percent increase in the number of immigrants in semi and unskilled positions, pay in them has fallen by 5.2 percent. This includes jobs in bars, care homes and shops as well as cleaning jobs.
Despite this, the report fails to conclude whether the EU’s freedom of movement policy has been good or bad for Britain. It states instead: “There are considerable differences in opinion on this.
“Some saw free movement of persons as both a necessary part of the Single Market and as broadly positive for the UK economy. Others however highlighted negative effects, such as competition for jobs and pressure on public services and housing.”
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “This report at last recognises the huge impact of mass migration on our society.
“Nearly half of it now comes from the EU, so it is essential that any renegotiation of powers should include some means of limiting this inflow.”