International migration has had a positive impact on the economy in the East Midlands, according to a major report.
East Midlands Councils (EMC) launched the document, entitled The Impact of International Migration on the East Midlands’ on Friday 18th July.
The official data and analysis that makes up the report was commissioned by Nottingham Trent University.
It concludes that international migration has generally been good for the economy, that recent migrants make a net contribution to the UK budget and are less likely to claim state benefits than the non-migrant population.
However it also highlights four key challenges that must be addressed if community cohesion is to be maintained at a local level.
First, there is no single, consistent source of local data on migrant communities or their characteristics, which makes it difficult for councils to effectively plan and deliver local services.
Next, changes to Government policy have shifted the cost of caring for some vulnerable migrant communities to councils, without any additional financial support.
Councils also need to have a greater say in how and where supported asylum seekers are dispersed by the Home Office in local communities.
And there is a lack of local provision for teaching English for those new migrants who do not speak the language well, which can limit job opportunities and increase translation costs for councils.
Coun Jon Collins, Chairman of East Midlands Councils, said: “The impact of international migration is a controversial and politically contested issue – but we need to talk about it.”
“The lack of an informed debate within Parliament, the media and public at large has been very damaging.”
“This report seeks to ‘shine a light’ on the issues from an East Midlands perspective. We hope that it will be used positively to improve policy at national and local levels.”
View report at www.emcouncils.gov.uk.