A levy imposed on the visas of non-EU migrants should continue to be used to help ease the pressure of immigration on public services, shadow home secretary Alan Johnson has said.

A levy imposed on the visas of non-EU migrants should continue to be used to help ease the pressure of immigration on public services, shadow home secretary Alan Johnson has said.

The migration impacts fund (MIF), set up by Gordon Brown last year to help local authorities deal with unexpected pressure on housing, schools and hospitals, is to be scrapped from next month, but the £50 levy is expected to remain in place.

Mr Johnson wrote to the home secretary Theresa May today asking how the fund, which was expected to top £70 million in its first two years, will be used.

“During the general election it was clear that one of the public’s principal concerns about immigration was its effect on certain communities and the need for financial assistance so that public services were able to cope,” Mr Johnson said.

“That is why the levy on visas was introduced so that migrants themselves provided this extra resource.

“Whilst net migration is falling, communities still need this help. The levy should continue to be used to help affected communities.”

In his letter to the home secretary, Mr Johnson wrote: “As migrants themselves paid for the MIF through a levy on their visas, can you confirm that the cessation of the scheme will result in a reduction in the levy on visas?

“If this is not the case, can you explain how this funding will now be used and how much you anticipate will be raised?”

A Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: “Ending the Migration Impacts Fund (MIF) will save £16.25 million this year.

“Ministers believe the impacts of migration are better addressed though controlling immigration, which is why the government will reduce the level of net migration back down to the levels of the 1990s - tens of thousands each year, not hundreds of thousands.”