Immigration limits will hit growth, warn analysts

RESTRICTIONS on immigration from outside the European Union will harm the UK’s recovery, several economists said yesterday.

“Limits on skilled migration have a significantly negative effect on growth,” said Jonathan Portes of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR).

His sentiments were echoed by former government economist Vicky Pryce, also in attendance at the NIESR’s pre-Budget conference in Westminster.

“There is a debate within government about how immigration curbs on highly skilled employees are affecting growth sectors,” Pryce said. “We want government to rethink this issue.”

The Centre Forum, a liberal think tank, said immigration curbs had to be revisited as part of chancellor George Osborne’s budget. Osborne is expected to promise a “budget for growth” next week.