1.3M NHI Numbers Given To Foreign Workers Since PM’s ‘British jobs for British workers’ Pledge

(Telegraph) – MORE THAN 1.3 million national insurance numbers have been given to foreign workers in the two years since Gordon Brown’s controversial “British Jobs for British Workers” pledge.

Between July 2007 and June 2009, 1,370,820 NI numbers were allocated to foreign workers , the Department of Work and Pensions figures disclosed.

This was despite the country being mired in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Critics said the figures, obtained by the Tories, were part of mounting evidence that Mr Brown had failed to protect the jobs of British workers over foreign nationals.

Shortly before taking office in the summer of 2007, Mr Brown made the commitment, which was then repeated during his first party conference speech in September that year.

“This is yet another example of the chaos within the immigration system,” Baroness Warsi, the Tory communities spokeswoman, said.

“These figures show that all the tough talk about protecting British jobs was just hot air.

“We can’t go on like this. We must bring immigration under control, and improve the education and training of British workers.”

National Insurance numbers can be issued for a number of reasons.

They are needed to work legally in the UK – but are also required to claim benefits.

Whitehall figures show the number of foreign-born workers has risen by 22,000 while at the same time, the number of British-born employees has slumped by 625,000.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas told the Daily Express: “We recognise the benefit to our economy and culture from immigration.

“We’re also very clear that it needs to be controlled.”

Work and Pensions Minister Angela Eagle added: “These national insurance numbers include people coming to study and to do part-time work, and many have subsequently returned home.”