UK

Migrants Should Pay £2,000 When They Arrive In The UK, Says Think Tank

30/01/2014 07:31 GMT | Updated 30/01/2014 10:59 GMT
Alamy

Charging all migrants £2,000 as soon they arrive in the UK would lead to a more tolerant and transparent immigration system, a think tank claims.

The radical suggestion comes from the CentreForum, which says it would end the charge that people can come to the UK and claim welfare without paying taxes first.

The liberal think tank also hit out at the "arms race" of tough talk on immigration and slammed the government's "perverse" target on migrant numbers.

But the most eye-catching proposal was the £2,000 "National Insurance Advance".

It would be paid upon entry to the UK by non-EU economic migrants only and refunded once they had made sufficient tax contributions, or left the country without claiming welfare.

CentreForum's report also contains plans to extend the period before EU migrants can claim out of work benefits to 12 months.

And it joins calls to scrap the Conservative party's policy of reducing net migration to "the tens of thousands".

The report comes as the Immigration Bill returns to the House of Commons.

Alasdair Murray, report author, said: "Politicians are engaged in an arms race around immigration policy which appears to have more to do with looking tough than genuinely addressing people's concerns with practical policy.

"It is possible to restore confidence in the immigration system by making it more transparent, ending the perception that migrants can access the benefits system without first contributing and developing a target that reflects the real social and economic needs of the country."