Commenting on figures released this morning which showed net migration to the UK in the year ending March 2015 was 330,000, up by 94,000 on the year ending March 2014, Simon Walker, Director General at the Institute of Directors said:
“There is a sensible and mature debate to be had about the costs and benefits of immigration. At the moment, however, the whole issue is being poisoned by the government’s adherence to their bizarre and unachievable net migration target. By announcing policies on the hoof every time figures are released, the Government betrays its lack of a long term plan on migration.
“Half of all IoD members employ somebody from outside the UK. That is overwhelmingly because they value the different skills people from around the world bring to their business. This can help them enter new markets, expand global connections or just bring a fresh point of view to the table. It is not about undercutting wages or bringing in cheap staff - only four per cent of IoD members say that cost had anything to do with their decision to hire from abroad. Our public services, in particular the NHS, also depend heavily on access to staff from across the world.
“Businesses recognise the public’s concerns over immigration and on the pressure it can place on local communities, schools, housing and public services. The IoD supports British Future’s call for a Comprehensive Immigration Review, based on evidence and expert advice. We want to help set out a sensible plan for managing inward migration in a way which supports our economy, works for our businesses and addresses public concerns. At the moment, however, while everything is clouded under the arbitrary net migration target, that is not possible.”