Even government advisers are rejecting PM’s migrant pledge: Office for Budget Responsibility heaps embarrassment on ministers by criticising prediction
- PM promised to reduce net migration to ‘tens of thousands’ by the election
- But vow was shattered when figures last month showed it hit record high
- Theresa May then vowed to cut number to 100,000 if Tories stay in power
- But OBR said net migration would ‘tend towards 165,000 in the long term’
David Cameron’s pledge to crack down on immigration is no longer taken seriously by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
The Prime Minister had promised to reduce net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ by the General Election.
However, last month that vow was shattered when figures showed it had hit a record high.
David Cameron’s pledge to reduce net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ is no longer taken seriously by the Office for Budget Responsibility
Home Secretary Theresa May later insisted the Tories would restate the failed target to slash net migration to fewer than 100,000 if they returned to Government.
But yesterday the OBR heaped embarrassment on ministers by criticising the prediction.
In a document published alongside the Budget, it said its previous forecasts had been ‘underpinned by the assumption’ that net migration – the measure of how many people have come into Britain minus those who have left – would be 105,000 by 2019.
Theresa May said Tories would slash net migration to fewer than 100,000 if they stayed in power
It stated: ‘A reduction over time seems consistent with the international environment and with the Government’s declared efforts to reduce it.’
But in a blow to Mr Cameron, it added: ‘In light of recent evidence, it no longer seems central to assume it will decline so steeply.’
Instead, it said net migration would ‘tend towards 165,000 in the long term’.
On taking power in 2010, Mr Cameron pledged to bring the politically-sensitive net migration figure below 100,000.
But last month the figure hit 300,000 – fuelled in large part by net migration from outside the EU of 190,000.
Downing Street described the figures as a ‘disappointment’ but also a reflection of a growing economy.
The highest number previously recorded was 600,000 in September 2010.
When Mr Cameron entered Downing Street in May 2010 net migration was running at 244,000.
Shadow immigration minister David Hanson said: ‘David Cameron’s “no ifs, no buts” pledge on net migration is in complete tatters; not even the Office of Budget Responsibility believes the Prime Minister’s promise any more and are now planning for it to be broken.
‘If you needed any more evidence that this government simply can’t be trusted to deliver their promises on immigration, this is it.’