The Migration Advisory Committee ('MAC') has published a report on its work of the MAC during David Metcalf's 9 years as chair. The report can be accessed on the gov.uk website here.
Although the report does not reveal anything new or surprising, it provides an interesting brief overview of the push to reduce net migration to the UK over the past 9 years which has led to the introduction of ever more stringent immigration rules.
The report provides some commentary on the various migration routes to the UK and in particular the various tiers of the points-based system. It questions the purpose of the Tier 1 Investor and Entrepreneur routes, and raises questions about what benefits, if any, UK residents derive from them.
Lastly, it also serves as a reminder that when the much maligned £18,600 minimum income threshold for family migration was introduced, the MAC had in fact been recommending to the Home Secretary that the rate be set anywhere between that figure and up to £25,700. The figure of £18,600 has proven difficult for a large number of people (it is estimated to exclude 45% of potential sponsors), so it is hard to imagine the difficulties that would have resulted had the Home Secretary opted to introduce the higher minimum income rate of £25,700. The decision of the UK Supreme Court on the lawfulness of the minimum income threshold is still awaited after the case of R (on the application of MM (Lebanon)) (AP) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) was heard on 22-24 February 2016.