David Cameron is in favour of stricter immigration plans which should limit the number of migrants from Europe and beyond.
The newcomers will have a restricted access to benefits, healthcare, housing and legal aid. Prime Minister said that he wants to change the image of Britain which is seen as a “soft touch” abroad, as the tensions among coalition over immigration policy grow.
Mr Cameron’s party recently expressed fears about the “influx” of immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria. The new plans are meant to elaborate new tougher rules restricting the numbers of visas issued to non-EU nationals.
Despite the fact that David Cameron has recently encouraged Indian students to come and study in the UK, some ministers fear that the government’s policy might prompt a brake on economic growth by restricting the influx of other international students and highly skilled entrepreneurs from coming to Britain.
Bozena Sojka, a specialist in immigration from Swansea University’s Human Geography Institute said:
“The 2011 U.K. census of population data released by the Office for National Statistics showed that immigration to Wales rapidly decreases.
“The migrants and migration are used for explaining every failure in the country. It aims at reversing people’s attention from the serious problems, for instance economic problems”, she added.
The ministers are working on the ways of cutting welfare payments to immigrants. These would include reducing the amount of child benefits sent abroad by foreign nationals, a policy introduced by Tony Blair’s administration.
The British Government fears that the easy access to the free health service offered by NHS might be a “pull-factor” to newcomers who decide to come to Britain.
Ms Sojka explained that David Cameron’s manoeuvres and decisions are not based on any research. According to her, the immigration reforms which Cameron wants to introduce fit into a “typical immigration policy, or rather “immigration propaganda”, which is propagated by majority of European countries these days.”
The other projects proposed by Mr Cameron include the requirement for unemployed migrants to have medical insurance granted which could cover the cost of falling ill, and stepping up efforts to recoup money from other EU countries whose nationals are cared for by British hospitals.
Ministers also plan to cut back the right to legal aid for foreigners if they face charges in a British court. This is seen by some as controversial as the project might restrict the immigrants’ entitlement to justice. The project also looks at cutting off the illegal residents’ ability to use public services.
Sarah Mulley, associate director for migration at the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank, said: “The Government does not have much room for manoeuvre. Access to most benefits is seen as the most important part of freedom of movement. There is no evidence migration is a significant drain on any of these resources.”