Chris Bryant said: “We need honesty and competence from this government on immigration, instead we get tough rhetoric not matched by the reality on the ground. The country deserves better than that.” Matt Cavanagh, Associate Director at the IPPR think-tank, agreed that the Government has made “no progress” on its pledge of cutting net migration.
Official figures show that the number of people coming to live in Britain for more than a year, minus those who moved abroad, stood at 250,000 in the year to June 2011. This represents a rise on the figure of 235,000 for the year to June 2010, just after the Coalition came to power.
Fewer people are emigrating while increasing numbers continue to settle here, in particular students from Commonwealth countries in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent.
The number of National Insurance numbers given to foreign-born workers rose by 11 per cent, which is likely to fuel fears that immigration is worsening unemployment figures.
Meanwhile the number of asylum seekers from troubled countries including Libya and Iran rose by 11 per cent and the number of people being deported fell sharply.
It also provides more evidence that ministers will struggle to fulfil their pledge to cut net migration to “tens of thousands” by 2015.