General Election 2015: Ukip's immigration policy will create "a shrinking and ageing" population, claims leading economist

Catherine Neilan
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Economist Michael Ben-Gad claims Nigel Farage has got it wrong on immigration (Source: Getty)

Ukip's stance on immigration has come under fire by a leading economist and expert on the issue, who claims there is no evidence to support the argument that they overburden public resources.

Michael Ben-Gad, a professor at City University in London and author of a Treasury-funded report on immigration and fiscal policy, claimed the so-called people's army was flying in the face of “numerous” studies on the matter.
“The bulk of the argument seems to have shifted to the issue of how the immigrants overburden public resources.
"The evidence for this is not presented and belies the work done by [Christian] Dustmann and [Tommaso] Frattini on immigrants – particularly from the EU – and their net contributions to the Exchequer and my own work on immigration and debt,” he said.
“Numerous studies on the effects of immigration on the labour market also fail to find significant effects.”
Ben-Gad also took aim at Ukip's suggestion limiting migration to 50,000 people, which would create net migration out of the UK of around 250,000 people each year.
“Given the rate of natural increase, the population would be shrinking and also ageing very rapidly,” he said.
However, Ben-Gad said the theory of a cap was “far more sensible than the current policy”, highlighting the Australian points system for its emphasis on encouraging immigrants who will contribute to the economy.
What are Ukip's key immigration policies?

Britain to leave the EU

Foreign workers must speak English and find accommodation before arriving in the UK

Work permits for skilled workers

Foreigners must have private health insurance

Migrants can only claim benefits after they've paid tax for five years

Tighter restrictions on bringing foreign spouses and children to UK

No amnesty for illegal immigrants

Review of the asylum process

Students from the EU will pay the same fees as international students

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