Belfast Telegraph

£25m fund to tackle migration pressures 'too small to make a difference'

A Government fund aimed at easing pressures on public services in areas of high migration is "far too small" to make much difference, ministers have been told.

The TUC say EU migrants pay £2 billion more in taxes than is spent on them, with English local authorities having just £25 million a year between them to improve services from the Controlling Migration Fund.

The money amounts to 0.02% of council budgets, said the TUC.

General secretary Frances O'Grady said: "The Government's fund is little more than ministerial spare change. It is simply too small to make a difference.

"EU migrants pay £2 billion more in tax than they take out. It's only fair that communities across England get to feel the benefits of that extra cash through a properly resourced Migration Impacts Fund.

"The cash has to be controlled by local people so that it is spent where it's really needed - dealing with pressure on schools and hospitals, stopping bad bosses undercutting local labour markets, and funding English classes.

"We all want to live in strong communities where people get along and everyone gets a fair day's pay for a hard day's work."

A Government spokesperson said: "The Controlling Migration Fund total is £140 million, to both support councils and take enforcement action.

"The Government is inviting councils to come forward with examples of the pressures their communities face as a result of recent migration and demonstrate how £100 million extra funding could help them over four years.

"A further £40 million is for direct enforcement action to tackle illegal migration in order to reduce the pressure on local areas.

"This is on top of the existing £200 billion four-year funding councils are already receiving to deliver public services for local people."