The Sustainable Population Party accepts and endorses entirely the views and proposals of Population Matters, a leading international population concern group, which recently issued its manifesto for the 2015 UK general election (populationmatters.org). It calls for government action to slow and reverse UK population growth and encourage similar action globally.
The fertility rate (number of children per woman) in all European countries is lower than 2, which means that without immigration, their populations would be falling. Ten years ago, the UK fertility rate was 1.7, but recently it has risen to 1.9. The only reason that our population continues to rise is through immigration. Net immigration in recent years has been in the region of 200,000 annually, resulting from about 550,000 immigrants and 350,000 emigrants. In order to gradually reduce our population to a sustainable level, we need to stop bringing in people faster than they are leaving, and encourage a fertility rate lower than 2.
The Sustainable Population Party calls for zero net immigration, and the following actions proposed by Population Matters:
- Promote the benefits of small families to parents, children and society at large, thereby furthering health and responsible relationships;
- Make sex and relationships education a statutory part of the school curriculum;
- Make reducing unplanned pregnancy at all ages a goal;
- Not provide child-related payments or tax reliefs after the first two children in a household, for children conceived after the policy comes into force, while ensuring that children are protected from poverty;
- Increase the proportion of foreign aid spent on family planning services and the empowerment of women.
By these actions, a fall in population of about ½% (300,000 people) per annum should be achievable without great stress, and the benefits would be immediate and long-term. But it will take some 140 years to get down to a sustainable level. Let us hope that future circumstances do not make it more urgent.