Communities Secretary Hazel Blears and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith this week announced details of a new multi million fund to support communities in managing local pressures from migration.
The long term benefit to the UK economy from migration is significant and will be vital to ensuring the UK’s economic recovery.
Nonetheless the Government recognises that migration can place short term pressures on local public services including councils, schools, NHS and the police.
Today’s announcement – £70m over the next two years – is about ensuring that those pressures are managed effectively for the benefit of the whole community.
Economic migrants and students coming to the UK from outside the EU will be charged a levy in addition to their normal visa application fee. The revenue generated by this charge will form the Migrants Impact Fund. The fund will mean that migrants are being asked to pay an additional contribution to that which they already make through taxes, to support the communities in which they live.
All regions of England will receive a proportion of the funding. The amount each receives will be weighted towards the areas where international migration has had the greatest short-term impact.
The fund is part of a wider package of significant and practical actions the Government is taking to maximise the benefits of migration and manage its impact, with measures tailored to meet current economic challenges.
The full document Managing the Impacts of Migration: Improvements and Innovations can be found here