Migration ‘is true cause of the housing shortage’
BRITONS have been misled over the true impact of migration on housing for years, a campaign group warned yesterday.
In a stinging attack, Migration Watch UK said it was “entirely false and misleading” to suggest two-thirds of housing demand is the result of natural population growth.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has claimed the proportion of household growth in England down to immigration is 37 per cent.
But Migration Watch figure is far larger.
Its analysis of a decade of official data shows that, of the additional households created in England between 2005 and 2015, 90 per cent had a foreign-born head.
Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of the campaign group, 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 on to 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.”
Official estimates suggest that over 25 years up until 2039 there will be an average increase of 210,000 households a says the true Lord Green says figures for predicted migration are too low and warns that unless numbers are cut demand for homes will grow year in England. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said that of this figure 133,000, or 63 per cent, would be down to the existing population and only 77,000, or 37 per cent, would be the result of future net migration.
But Migration Watch UK believes this is fundamentally wrong because the level of immigration on which the projection was based is significantly too low.
It claims the Government’s projection is based on net migration to England of just 170,500 a year when the figure is currently 300,000 a year and has averaged 200,000 a year over the past decade.
The group also said the projection only takes account of future migration and ignores previous arrivals.
It claims that even the existing migrant population will drive up future household formation because it has a much younger age profile than the UK average.
Tory MP Philip Davies said: “Migration Watch are absolutely right. Housing is the ultimate supply and demand market, and for years and years all the Government has been worried about is increasing the supply.
“If we want to make housing more affordable, the biggest single thing to help would be to reduce immigration because that is what’s driving up prices.”
Ukip MEP and the party’s housing spokesman Tim Aker said: “Current and previous governments have betrayed the British people, denying them the possibility of home ownership due to mass immigration.
“They would rather open our borders than make an Englishman’s home his castle. It’s all well and good, rich metropolitan types getting cheap labour and gardeners.
“All the while, working-class Britain faces soaring rents, a struggle for housing and wage compression.”
A DCLG spokesman said: “We are clear we need to build more homes taking into account a range of factors including predicted population growth.”
Net migration fell 81,000 to 246,000 in the year to March. But the figure is still way off the Government’s target net migration of below 100,000 a year. Gun dealer Paul Edmunds
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