By John Perry
MigrationWatch has published a new claim that meeting the social housing needs of new immigrants will cost the tax payer £1 billion a year for the next 25 years. It bases its assessment on the fact that migration is currently expected to lead to the formation of 83,000 new households each year, out of a projected total of 232,000 new households.
These are official figures, but they need to be treated with great caution: population projections are revised regularly and do not take account of the economic situation, which might well lead to a fall in net migration over the next few years.
While the 83,000 households (if the projection is correct) would add to housing demand, so would the 149,000 households due to form from natural population growth. The link between this overall demand and the number of homes that are built is purely theoretical: many of these households will share, many won’t qualify for social housing for many years, or be a