En rapport fra en komite i Overhuset tar et kraftig oppgjør med innvandringspolitikken. Den er ikke økonomisk lønnsom og truer med å skape sterke sosiale motsetninger og svekke offentlig servicetilbud, heter det. Ett resultat er boligpriser som gjør at folk ikke har råd til å bo.
Komiteen har mange kompetente medlemmer.
The report, based on evidence from dozens of officials, academics, business leaders and council chiefs is the most detailed analysis of the economic impact of immigration carried out in the past decade.
Konklusjonene er oppsiktsvekkende. Komiteen punkterer de offisielle begrunnelse for den rekordstore innvandringen. I 2006 var den på 300.000 mennesker. Den er ikke økonomisk lønnsom, advares det.
– There is little or no economic benefit to Britain from the present high level of immigration. The immigrants are not needed to fill labour shortages or help fund the state pension for retiring Britons.
– High levels of immigration threaten to price millions of Britons out of the housing market over the next 20 years.
– Government statistics on immigration are «seriously inadequate» and compromise the ability accurately to set interest rates and allocate £100 billion in public funding.
– Certain groups, including the low-paid, some ethnic minorities and young people seeking to get on the jobs ladder may suffer because of competition from immigrants.
– Immigrants have an «important economic impact» on public services with some schools struggling to cope with the rapidly-rising number of children who do not speak English as a first language.
The report says immigration has reached a scale «unprecedented in our history».
It says that the net immigration of non-British persons has trebled from less than 100,000 a year in the early 1990s to more than 300,000 in 2006.
It contradicts the Government, which has argued that immigration has boosted the economy by £6 billion a year.
Ministers have argued that the population may have to rise from 60.6 million to 71 million by 2031 to plug shortages in the labour market.
These claims are rejected by the committee, which includes the former chancellors Lord Lawson and Lord Lamont, former City figures such as Lord Turner and Lord Vallance and leading economists including Lord Skidelsky and Lord Layard. Several ministers are members.