UK Housing and Immigration

Letter to the Daily Telegraph from Stephen Bush on 17th May 2023

Your correspondent Dominic Cottrill (May17th) castigates the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, for obsessing about immigration. Thank heaven someone in the Conservative government does.

For planning purposes, local authorities reckon that on average, ten new dwellings provide a home for 24 people. So it takes 100,000 new dwellings to accommodate just under a quarter of a million additions to the population. The latest figures for net immigration due on 25th of this month are expected to show annual immigration running at around 700,000-800,000 per year, which translates to increased housing demand in one year of about 300,000. This is in a market already unable to meet demand from our own population, with new building at well under 200,000 houses. Immigration at present levels only makes the housing shortage much worse.

Those in the Conservative government who believe that immigration at current levels will somehow boost the economy should notice that it is not GDP per se but GDP per head which reflects productivity and makes people better off. The current minimum wage for an immigrant work visa is set at around £26,000 while the median pay for an adult in our economy is around £33,000. An immigrant recruited below this figure will actually reduce productivity in the economy. Legal immigration and pressure on housing could be cut at a stroke by simply raising the minimum wage for an immigrant worker visa to the median in the existing workforce.

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One Response to “UK Housing and Immigration”

  1. Haley says:

    Thanks a lot for the detailed information

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