Financial News

  • 15 May 2014, 9:57

East European Migrant Influx Fails To Emerge

The number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK has fallen by 4,000 since transitional controls on immigration were lifted on January 1.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show 140,000 people born in one of the two countries were employed between January and March this year.

That is down from 144,000 between October and December, suggesting concerns about mass immigration following the New Year have been unfounded.

However, the long-term trend has been marked by an increase, with the figures up 28,000 compared to the same period last year.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said: "People were predicting the influx, we can see that has not happened."

Instead there has been a gradual increase, she said.

The Prime Minister has previously said that the numbers coming in since January have been "acceptable".

Last Autumn, he laid out a raft of tough new measures to curb immigrants' access to benefits amid fears of the increasing numbers.

UKIP have been benefitting electorally from fears around the issue.

The Conservatives will be relieved about the latest figures just weeks before European and local elections in which UKIP is expected to do well.

UKIP have seized on the overall trend in immigration - arguing that there are 292,000 extra people not born in Britain working in the UK since January last year.

That is a 7% rise and includes 168,000 more from the EU.

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