Debate Magazine

Nobody Move Or Your State Pension Gets It!

Posted on the 02 June 2016 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

Emailed in by Lola, via Professional Pensions from NIESR:
Our main conclusions are that reductions in immigration would have a negative impact on the public finances. To offset these impacts policy change in the form of increases in national insurance contributions, reductions in pensioner benefits, or increases in the state pension age could be used. More restrictive immigration policies would, not surprisingly, have more negative impacts.

Aargh! Disasater looms, but what's that "however" leading up to..?
However, these impacts could be mitigated, and indeed reversed, were the government to be able to successfully implement a very significant change in the incomes (and implicitly the skills or qualifications) of new migrants by introducing a skills or points based migration policy (perhaps similar to the policy in Australia).
The reduction in EU migrants, an increase in total non EU migrants and an up-scaling of skills are all possible policies which have been aired in the referendum debate. However, an important policy question, which we do not address here, is whether these policies would and could actually be delivered in practice.

Most migrants from other EU member states are net contributors, of course, so a sensible points system would have little impact on them; I don't think we want an increase in non-EU migrants, again, a sensible points system would weed out the half we don't want. Of course it could be "delivered in practice", we managed perfectly well up to 1997.

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