No New Research into Cost of Immigration

Dutch News, Sept. 22, 2009

There will be no new research into the cost of immigration in the short term, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Three motions aiming to force integration minister Eberhard van der Laan to carry out the research will be voted down in parliament later today, the paper says.

One motion from the Liberals (VVD) calling for an update of a 2003 report on immigration and the economy was thought to have a small chance of success. But Labour MPs have decided to vote against it as well, the paper says.

Van der Laan said earlier this month the cabinet had met its legal obligations on answering MPs questions. In July Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration party PVV asked a number of government ministers to calculate exactly how much non-western immigrants cost Dutch society.

Refugees

Meanwhile, former prime minister Ruud Lubbers says in an interview with the Nederlands Dagblad that the country needs to be more generous in admitting refugees and highly-skilled migrants. ‘Foreign workers are needed to combat the effect of the aging population, Lubbers said.

‘We need unorthodox policies. Instead of saying ‘no unless’ we should be saying ‘yes, as long’ when we are talking about letting in foreigners,’ Lubbers, the former UN high commissioner on refugees said.

The Netherlands is placing too much emphasis on getting rid of people, he said. ‘Our refugee policy is characterised by its restrictive nature and inefficient implementation. We are wasting a lot of talent,’ he told the paper.

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