Consultations on upcoming immigration bill

3 July 2013

The government has launched two consultations seeking views on proposed immigration legislation.

Proposals on healthcare provision and privately rented accommodation were published today, 3 July 2013. The bill will make it more difficult for illegal migrants to live in the UK unlawfully and ensure that legal migrants make a proper financial contribution to our key public services. The proposals will ensure that immigration policy is built into our benefits system, our health system, and other services.

Migrant access to health services in the UK – A consultation on ensuring that migrants contribute fairly to the costs of their healthcare

This consultation seeks views on proposals to change the basis on which migrants access health services. These proposals respond to longstanding public concern that the current rules regulating access to those services are both too generous, particularly when compared with wider international practice, and poorly applied.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

“We have been clear that we are a national health service not an international health service and I am determined to wipe out abuse in the system.”

“We need to ensure that those residing or visiting the UK are contributing to the system in the same way as British taxpayers.”

“The NHS is a national treasure and we need to work with the entire health system to develop plans and make sure it is sustainable for years to come.”

Tackling illegal migration in privately rented accommodation

This consultation seeks views on our proposals to create a new requirement on landlords to conduct immigration checks on tenants, with penalties for those who provide rented accommodation to illegal non-EEA migrants in breach of the new requirements. The new requirements will be modelled on existing controls which apply to the employment of illegal workers which are well established and have operated successfully for the last five years.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said:

“We are determined to root out the rogue landlords that exploit vulnerable people by charging extortionate rents to live in unsanitary and often dangerous conditions.”

“The measures proposed today will do just that. The rules will be simple to follow for law-abiding landlords, so they can continue to let high quality homes to their tenants. But there will be stiff penalties for those who flout the rules and continue to offer this poor housing to illegal migrants.”

“And to help councils tackle the problem of slumlords head-on, we’re inviting them to bid for a share of £3million to help them investigate and prosecute cases in their areas.”

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:

“The government is determined to build a fairer system and to address the public’s concern about immigration. The proposals will form part of the Immigration Bill, to be introduced later this year, which will tighten immigration law, strengthen our enforcement powers and clamp down on those from overseas who try to abuse our public services.”

“By reducing access to free NHS care and rented accommodation for illegal migrants, we will make it more difficult for them to stay in the country leading to more returns and removals.”

“This Bill is the next step in the radical reform of the immigration system which has led to a reduction in net migration – now at its lowest level for a decade.”

To read the consultation documents and take part in the Immigration bill consultations, see the consultations section on the UKBA site.

The consultation was announced by Mark Harper this morning in a written ministerial statement, which can also be accessed from the consultations page.