The U.K. government is planning to review its immigration policies, in a move likely to make it more difficult for foreigners to become British citizens. The move comes as unemployment is now at a 12-year high and as concerns about terrorism have fueled a surge in protectionist sentiment in the U.K., long one of the world's most open countries. Once-marginal anti-immigration politicians have been gaining ground.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson plant to announce a points system ('PBS') will be modeled after one in use in Australia and introduced last year, that grades workers and students hoping to enter the U.K. on criteria including education, age and need for their skills. Immigration minister Phil Woolas said the scheme would stop the population reaching the 70 million predicted by Whitehall statisticians and bring "control" to the migration system. The number of passports handed out to migrants is on course to hit a record of almost 220,000 this year. Critics in UK say the recent increases to their population, through heavy immigration, are placing a huge burden on public services as hospitals and schools face increased demand but no increases in their budgets.
Traditionally, foreign workers boost both the economies of the countries they work in as well as their home countries. But studies say that the current global economic crisis has sapped much of such cross-border monetary exchanges. The short-term benefits of growth are evident, but the long-term implications are severe.
Other European countries are clamping down on immigration as their economies slow and citizens complain that too many people are being allowed in.
In future migrants to the UK would have to spend five years as temporary residents, before becoming "probationary citizens". Points could also be deducted and citizenship either delayed or withheld for those found breaking the law or engaging in anti-social behaviour.
With record immigration levels to Australia, and so-called "skills shortages" in areas such as hair-dressing and cooks, this system hasn't reduced the number of foreigners entering Australia! Citizenship to Australia is extremely easy to aquire. The "skills shortages" hasn't translated into full employment or increased training courses. HECS and loans are escalating costs for university and now TAFE loans in Victoria and more Australians trying to aquire skills will become casualties of excessive fees.
Assisted by higher birth rates and heightened net overseas migration, Australia added a record 406,000 residents last year. The previous record was 375,000 in the year to June 2007. Bernard Salt: Clusters of growth excite property developers and concern planners. They localise demand for property and intensify demand for infrastructure. Our growth is determined by the property market!
Political lifecyles last until the next election. Australia must try to survive, intact, until at least the next generation and remain "sustainable" after that!
It’s time Australia cut immigration, apart from genuine refugees. Anti-immigration is not racism! It is about having an optimum population plan, a sustainable limit to how our environment, society and economy can equitably cope with the projected number of people.
John Howards "go for growth" mentality, and that record numbers of births implies confidence in the economy, still hasn't been re-evaluated. Developing countries have high birth rates too, to ensure an income in old age!
The points based system is trivial and has done little to reduce our immigration numbers, and legally discriminates against genuine refugees.