BORIS Johnson’s post-Brexit immigration plans will nearly halve the number of net arrivals to Britain, according to official forecasts published yesterday.
The Government’s independent spending watchdog predicted the new Australian-style points-based immigration system will reduce net numbers coming to the UK to 129,000 by 2024/25.
The Government’s post-Brexit immigration plans will cut the number of arrivals into the UK by almost half
This is down from the current level of 240,000 and 60,000 fewer than would have been the case had Theresa May’s more lenient immigration plans come into effect.
But it means that by the middle of the decade, net migration will still be running at above the Tory party’s previous target to reduce numbers to below 100,000.
Mr Johnson finally ditched the target when he became PM last summer after 10 years of failing to hit the target.
The Office for Budget Responsibility said the lower forecast in arrivals will reduce GDP by 0.3 per cent in 2024/25 but will not have an impact on average living standards.
The PM’s immigration proposals will also reduce employment by 0.4 per cent, the OBR predicted but will boost productivity by 0.1 per cent because it will lead to higher skilled migrants coming here and the UK workforce will have to boost their skills too.
But the OBR said the Government faces an uphill struggle to get the new immigration regime up and running by next January’s deadline.
Its report warned: “Relative to the current regime, this is more restrictive for EU migrants but modestly less so for non-EU migrants.
“It shares many features with the current system for non-EU migrants, but with a lower salary threshold.
“Even so, successful implementation of the new regime by the January deadline looks challenging.”
Meanwhile Mr Sunak announced he is hiking the amount it costs migrants to use the NHS.
Boris Johnson’s immigration plans are set to reduce employment however boost productivity
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his budget that he will increase the cost of the NHS for migrants
The immigration health surcharge will rise from £400 a year to £624 for adults – with a discounted rate for children.
Migrants will pay the fee as part of their visa ahead of their arrival in a move designed to crackdown on health tourism and raise around £360 million a year for the taxpayer.
EU migrants will be charged the fee for the first time from January next year when the Brexit transition period ends.