By Claire West

The CBI has commented on the Government’s interim cap on immigration, following comments made by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business.

John Cridland, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:

“The interim cap is causing serious problems for many firms. The figures used were artificially low as they were based on numbers at the height of the recession in 2009.
“As firms are gearing up for growth, some are finding that they are only able to use a handful of non-EU specialist staff.
“The CBI has no problem with the principle of a cap, and is working with the Government to make the new points-based system successful, but it is critical that the interim cap is set at a realistic level per company that supports growth.”

Number 10 were asked yesterday if Vince Cable had been slapped down for his comments and a spokesman for the Prime Minister said; “that this issue had come up during the recent visit to India, and the Prime Minister had said at the time that it was perfectly understandable for the Business Secretary to raise the concerns of business regarding immigration policy.”