Labour And Tory Governments Have Lied About the Impact Of Immigration On Housing

Published Nov 15, 2017

Successive Labour and Conservative governments have misled the public over the extent to which uncontrolled immigration impacts on the demand for new homes. That is the conclusion of a paper released today by Migration Watch, the independent immigration watchdog.

Migration Watch state that The Department for Communities and Local Government's principal projection of future household growth estimates that over the 25 years to 2039 there will be an average increase of 210,000 households a year in England. Of this 133,000 (63%) will be down to future household formation by the existing population and 77,000 (37%) will be down to future net migration.

UKIP's Immigration Spokesman John Bickley said, "We welcome the report from Migration Watch because it exposes the devious way in which the current Conservative government, much like the last Labour one is determined to avoid admitting that their disastrous immigration policies have had a material and detrimental impact on public services and the availability of housing for the indigenous population, particularly the younger generation. When I got married in my early twenties it was a given that if you saved up you could buy a house. That's no longer possible for most young people and it's diametrically linked to mass uncontrolled immigration and Labour and Conservative government's appalling record on house building. Only UKIP is willing to take the tough decisions to reverse this unsustainable trend and to ensure the interests of British citizens are put before those of big business and their insatiable demand for cheap imported labour and its impact on our overstretched and underfunded public services".

Migration Watch believes this is a major underestimate for two reasons, (i) the level of immigration on which the principal projection is based is considerably lower than the present level. It is based on net migration of 170,500 a year when net migration is currently running at 300,000 a year and has averaged 200,000 a year over the last ten years and (ii) the projections only take account of future migration, and ignore previous migration. The existing migrant population will also be driving future household formation – more so because of they have a much younger age profile than the UK born one.

This means that the true figure of the proportion of household growth that is down to immigration – both past and future – is likely to be much larger than 37%.

Despite this, the Conservative government claims that “two thirds of housing demand has nothing to do with immigration; it is to do with natural population growth.”

Migration Watch believe this is entirely false and misleading because an examination of ONS data over past years shows that, of the additional households created between 2005 and 2015, 90% have had a foreign born head of household (now known as the Household Reference Person).

Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:
“We have a major crisis over housing affecting huge numbers of people but especially the young who are finding it ever harder to get onto the housing ladder. Yet the focus of the debate is still entirely on supply; nobody dares talk about demand and its principal driver - immigration. That has to stop. Our paper breaks new ground in daring to point to this central, if uncomfortable, truth.”


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