Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Immigrants to Britain should meet wage target: think tank

Agence France-Presse
Last updated 09:35am (Mla time) 08/29/2006

LONDON -- Britain should set an income target for immigrants and those who do not meet it should not be allowed to settle in the country, a think tank was set to propose Tuesday.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Migrationwatch would propose that migrants with an income of less than 27,000 pounds (51,200 dollars, 40,000 euros) a year not be allowed to permanently settle in Britain.

That income figure, which only one in five migrants reach, is the level at which a person begins making positive contributions whether measured by taxes paid or by contribution to gross domestic product, the think tank argues. Individuals with lower incomes put pressure on existing infrastructure.

The average wage in Britain last year was 28,210 pounds according to government statistics.

While low-income workers should still be allowed into Britain to work, Migrationwatch says they should not be allowed to settle permanently.

Immigration has returned to the forefront of public debate in Britain in recent weeks after the government released figures showing more than 427,000 people from the eight new eastern European EU member states have come to work in Britain since the bloc's enlargement in May 2004.

Those figures exclude self-employed workers, a category believed to cover many eastern Europeans in the building trade. Once those are also included, the overall number is closer to 600,000 by some accounts.

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