Under pressure UK govt 'corrects' migrant job figures

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London, Oct 31 (UNI) Buckling under opposition pressure, British government has admitted that 300,000 more foreign nationals are working in the country than previously thought.

The official figure was virtually doubled but critics maintained that the true total was still higher.

Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain revised his original figures of 800,000 jobs snapped by migrants since 1997, saying the true figure was 1.1million.

The chaos appeared to undermine Prime Minister Gordon Brown's pledge of ''British jobs for British workers''.

The row followed a claim by Mr Hain that 2.7 million jobs had been created during the tenure of Labour government, of which only 800,000 had gone to people from overseas.

The ministry had already issued a "clarification" admitting that foreigners had taken a 52 per cent of the jobs.

Government's Office for National Statistics, put the jobs taken by migrant workers at 1.5million.

Tory spokesman Damian Green said unless the government did not set an explicit limit on migration from outside the EU, yesterday's announcement was ''nothing more than a sticking plaster, trying to mend an immigration system that still remains not fit for purpose''.

Ruling Labour MPs also mounted attacks on the government, saying even the figure of 1.5 million was too low and based on a projection of the employment situation in 2003 which took no account of the tide of workers arriving from Poland and the other new EU members in Eastern Europe.

Public concern over immigration has been running high, following greatly-increased official population projections last week and the decision of Tory leader David Cameron to call for migration quotas and limits.

Hospitals and schools are under huge pressure and ministers are expected soon to increase their estimate that immigration is responsible for a third of demand for housing.

At least 40 local councils have complained to the Government that an influx of migrants means their populations have been underestimated and they cannot afford to pay for school places, social services or everyday activities like waste collection.

The Office of National Statistics recently pushed up its estimates of future population and said there will be 71 million people in the country by 2031, ten million more than now, largely as a result of immigration.

It revealed there were now 3,269,000 people working in Britain who were born abroad including the children of British passport holders.


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