THE BLOG

For All the Bluff and Bluster, This Government Hasn't Honoured Its Promises on Immigration

27/11/2014 13:03 GMT | Updated 27/01/2015 10:59 GMT

"No ifs, no buts" - that was David Cameron's solemn pledge to the British people on net migration.

A manifesto commitment, a pledge he hoped to honour, and one that's been blown apart this morning ‎by new official government figures.

Thursday's figures show a rise to record levels of net migration under this government ‎- figures that are now 16,000 higher than when Labour left office.

It is a sign that, for all the bluff and bluster, this government hasn't honoured its promise to the British people.

And it's now clear that the net migration target is the worst of all worlds for the UK - not dealing with exploitation here at home, while deterring students and high-skilled people from helping us grow the UK economy.

We need a Government that takes effective action to support the UK. That means driving out bad practice at home, enforcement of the minimum wage, stopping recruitment agencies both paying less to agency workers and just recruiting from abroad. And we need action to extend legislation to stop exploitative gang masters using cheap labour too.

And as Rachel Reeves and Yvette Cooper said last week, we need reform in Europe to change the benefits system so those who come to our country contribute.

Britain needs students, skilled engineers, scientists and others to help grow our economy. But we also need strong action to stop exploitation at home.

We need new measures such as exit and entry controls at our borders and many more border staff to enforce UK policy to help tackle illegal immigration and enforce fair rules.

Sticking to a net migration target that means nothing is simply not the way forward.

We need a government who will make promises it can keep and ensure that we remain a key player in the world to help us create the jobs of the future.

David Cameron has shown again today why his government will not and cannot do that.