Scrutiny concern on migration control delays and population data
25th June 2021
Scrutiny's Migration and Population Review Panel is concerned about delays to migration control law amendments and the information available for a full population policy, following its public hearing with the Minister responsible for delivering this policy by the end of 2021.
At Wednesday's hearing, the Assistant Chief Minister, Deputy Rowland Huelin, informed the Panel that amendments to the Control of Housing and Work Law (CHWL), which will control the number of people who have the right to settle in Jersey, will now be delayed until at least September. The amendments were initially due to be debated on 31 May following in-principle approval of the changes within the Migration Control Policy in March this year.
Giving evidence to the Panel, Deputy Huelin said that he was 'relaxed' about the changed timetable and that it was important that the work was done well. He said that he remained confident that the amendments would be presented to the States before the debate takes place on the forthcoming Common Population Policy.
Senator Steve Pallett, the Panel's Chair, said: "The Panel appreciates the scale of the task which Government is undertaking, both to produce considered amendments to the Island's Migration Policy and to produce a Common Population Policy. However, the concerns that we have expressed since the beginning of the year on the timeframe and the data on which these important policies will be based were confirmed by the evidence given at yesterday's hearing."
As well as the delay to the amendments to CHWL, it was confirmed at yesterday's hearing that the Common Population Policy would not contain projected population levels for the Island. The population policy debate is being held before the end of the year and prior to the publication of the data gathered in the Census 2021.
"It was acknowledged yesterday that the policy, which the Government intends to bring forward for debate later this year, is unlikely to fulfil all the requirements requested by Deputy Jess Perchard's amended proposition on Migration and Population data. Significant data remains outstanding and we understand that a number of associated projects and reviews, including access to healthcare, will not have been completed by the end of 2021.
"The Panel were pleased to hear that plans for a public consultation on population policy will commence shortly and looks forward to seeing more information about a meaningful dialogue which seeks feedback from all sectors of this community. We also hope that we can continue to work positively with the Government to ensure that the migration and population policies produced are fit for purpose and for the long term good of the Island."
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