In a speech delivered today, David Cameron has said that immigration has huge benefits to our nation and we can be proud of how open and diverse we are.
He believes a sensible debate will help ensure that everyone who comes here pays their way and gives something back. The Government has set out new plans to achieve this by:
- Cutting access to benefits for non-UK nationals after 6 months
- Stopping 'something for nothing' public services - introducing an expectation for councils to introduce a local residency test in determining who should qualify for social housing
- Stopping health tourism - taking new steps to ensure the NHS can claim back money that is owed for NHS treatment provided to those not entitled to it
- Bringing the full force of government together to crack down on illegal working
David Cameron said:
"While I have always believed in the benefits of immigration I have also always believed that immigration has to be properly controlled.
"As I have long argued, under the last government this simply wasn't the case. Immigration was far too high and badly out of control. Net migration needs to come down radically from hundreds of thousands a year to just tens of thousands.
"And as we bring net migration down so we must also make sure that Britain continues to benefit from it. That means ensuring that those who do come here are the brightest and the best the people we really need with the skills and entrepreneurial talent to create the British jobs and growth that will help us to win in the global race.