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TUC: Government fund to tackle migration impacts is little more than ministerial spare change

  • EU migrants pay £2bn more in taxes than is spent on them – but only 1% of that is to be spent on migration impacts fund
  • Government to spend just £25m a year across all local authorities to improve services – a mere 0.02% added to their budgets

The Controlling Migration Fund announced by the home secretary is far too small to make enough difference, according to a new TUC report published today (Monday).

The fund was announced by Amber Rudd at the Conservative Party conference “to ease the pressures on public services in areas of high migration”.

But English local authorities will have to split just £25m a year between them – a fraction of a percent (0.02%) of local authority budgets, and a tiny proportion of the net £2 billion that migrant workers bring to the UK exchequer every year.

Publishing the TUC’s own proposals for a real Migration Impacts Fund, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“The government’s fund is little more than ministerial spare change. It is simply too small to make a difference.

“EU migrants pay £2 billion more in tax than they take out. It’s only fair that communities across England get to feel the benefits of that extra cash through a properly-resourced Migration Impacts Fund.

“The cash has to be controlled by local people so that it is spent where it’s really needed - dealing with pressure on schools and hospitals, stopping bad bosses undercutting local labour markets, and funding English classes.

“We all want to live in strong communities where people get along and everyone gets a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. At the autumn statement, the chancellor has to announce proper funding to help local communities manage the impacts of migration better.”

The TUC says that an effective well-financed Migration Impact Fund must be controlled by local communities, who could use it to meet local priorities, such as:

  • Extra cash for schools, hospitals and other public-facing services in places where migration has pushed up demand
  • Fighting workplace exploitation by bad bosses, which undercuts local labour markets
  • Tackling rogue landlords and building homes
  • Funding ESOL English language classes
  • Training local people to fill skills gaps, so employers don’t have to look abroad for workers

Notes to Editors:

  • The TUC report, A fairer deal on migration: managing better for Britain, can be read here
  • The Department for Communities and Local Government document Controlling Migration Fund: prospectus which reveals the extent of the fund can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/controlling-migration-fund-prospectus . The £140m fund is for the duration of the current Parliament, with £100m marked for local improvements, and £40m for enforcement measures.
  • Researchers at UCL estimate that the Treasury gains a net £2bn a year from EU migrant workers who moved to the UK after 2001, deducting costs for welfare, and benefits from public services. bit.ly/UCLmigration
  • All TUC press releases can be found at tuc.org.uk/media
  • TUC Press Office on Twitter: @tucnews


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