Four out of every five Britons want the government to cut the level of immigration. A large-scale poll carried out for the government by the Communities Department has revealed more than half the UK population wants to see the numbers of immigrants arriving to stay permanently in Britain reduced by a large amount. The survey suggests public demand for a cap on immigration is rapidly growing.
The results of the poll can be seen as a warning from Whitehall to Home secretary Theresa May and PM David Cameron that concerns over the high level of immigration are not going away. The issue played a prominent part in pre-election campaigning last year and is likely to lead to frustration amongst the electorate if pledges made last May are not adhered to.
Promises during the run-up to the general election included a reduction in the number of immigrants to 1990s level of under 100,000 a year. In Labour’s last year in office, net migration stood as 215,000. The Communities Department Citizenship Survey was set up under Labour as an attempt to measure ‘community cohesion’ One important point in its design was that Muslim and ethnic minority communities were ‘robustly represented’ in the results.
A total of 10,000 people took part, with pollsters later taking opinions from another 5,000 ethnic minority residents and 1,200 Muslims before reaching their conclusions. Results stated 54 per cent of the population wanted immigration cut ‘a lot’, with 24 per cent saying ‘a little’ and only 19 per cent saying levels should stay the same. NO evidence was found that local communities were becoming more divided. Some 22 per cent believed they received poor treatment from public services due to racial prejudice, but 85 per cent believed their communities were racially cohesive.
Sir Andrew Greene, considers the figures are a clear indication immigration still features large in the public concern, in spite of other worries. He adds the coalition government, especially its Lib-Dem members, should take the survey seriously. Critics are stating the UK is busy importing workers while six million of its citizens remain on benefits and unable to find jobs.