04 April 2008
The Local Government Association renewed its calls for an immigration contingency fund this week, as a Lords committee questioned the economic benefit of current migration levels.
LGA chair Sir Simon Milton said the speed and scale of migration combined with the shortcomings of official population figures were putting pressure on many council services.
He said: 'Improving alternative sources of information, such as GP registrations and National Insurance numbers, would allow the government to gain a much clearer picture of migrant movements. This would allow the right amount of money to get to the right places, ensuring decent public services for all.'
The economic impact of immigration, published by the Lords economic affairs select committee on April 1, found 'no evidence for the argument' that high net immigration generated significant economic benefit for the UK population.
The report said improving information on the effects of immigration on services should be a priority, and recommended adequate funding for councils to meet increases in demand.