Working-class blacks and Asians are just as likely as white people to resent new migrants as they fear that they will compete for jobs, housing and other services, according to a report published yesterday.
It gave warning that such attitudes could cause problems for community relations as 70 per cent of the black and minority ethnic population live in the 88 most deprived wards.
In addition, many of the places to which asylum-seekers are dispersed are the most deprived areas of the country, such as parts of Liverpool, Glasgow and Hull.
The study also suggests that new migrants are being exploited by employers in jobs that traditionally pay low wages. Ministers are also paying insufficient attention to the impact of new migration on community relations, the study said.
Ministers have already imposed quotas on the number of Bulgarians and Romanians who will be allowed to enter Britain to work when the two former Soviet bloc states join the EU in January.
The quotas were imposed amid growing public concern and worry among Labour backbenchers at the level of immigration in recent years and the strain it is putting on schools and other public services.
Yesterday’s report said that though there was a lack of qualitative information on the impact of new migration, the survey suggested that it was not diversity but immigration that preoccupies people. “White and black minority ethnic respondents displayed similar attitudes towards recent migrants which corresponds to reports that tensions do not necessarily arise along racial lines,” the report, Refugees and other new migrants, said.
It added: “Rather, where competition over scarce and finite resources and services is the greatest, relations with newcomers are most likely to be negatively affected.”