The latest immigration figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal that net migration was 216,000 in the year up to December 2011. This compares to 252,000 the year before, evidence that the changes that the Government has made are making a difference.
Immigration is an issue that is close to my heart, (and one that I spoke about recently in the Commons) and it is also close to the heart of many of my constituents. In my experience, people of all ethnic backgrounds and all political persuasions believe that net migration was too high under the last Government. The vast majority are not bigots – they recognise the positive contribution migrants can make – but they believe the numbers have been too high, putting pressure on public services.
Like an oil tanker, it takes time to turn things round – you announce a policy, consult on it, introduce it and then have to wait a year to see the whole year effect – but the evidence released by the ONS suggests that the changes the Coalition has introduced are making a difference.