A report by an environmentalist charity has said near-record population growth in the UK will cost the economy billions in coming years, but instead of cutting immigration, it urges the native population to have fewer children.
The UK population is expected to surge by 10 per cent – 5.5 million – between 2015 and 2030, putting particular strain on roads and infrastructure, Population Matters concluded.
They claim drivers will waste an extra 12 hours a year on average in traffic delays by 2030, costing the average household £600 a year in lost working time, additional fuel, and the higher cost of delivering goods.
The group is lobbying the government to pour more public money into “family planning” to curb the population boom, including easy access to contraception and abortion.
— Population Matters (@PopnMatters) January 8, 2017
However, net immigration into the UK has been at near record levels for several years. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated it to be 335,000 between July and September 2016.
The ONS also revealed that over the same period, 27.5 per cent of babies born in the UK – the highest level on record – were to mothers born outside the UK, whilst births to UK-born women fell by 0.4 per cent.
Reacting to the report, Chris Packham, the broadcaster and a patron of Population Matters, wrote in The Times:
“In the UK we already have the choice of how many children we have. If we want them to enjoy the natural world — to have a thriving, supportive natural world they will need to survive — we have to recognise that the more of them we have, the more difficult it will be for them to do that.
“We all need breathing room: animals, plants, human beings. We shouldn’t have to compete for it, and we don’t have to.”
Alistair Currie, head of campaigns at Population Matters, told the same paper: “Every commuter knows the strain our transport system is already under, and the last thing our environment needs is more trains, cars, buses and trucks pumping out more pollution.”