Brown Orders Foreign VISA Clampdown Prime Minister Gordon Brown has acknowledged public fears about the costs of immigration and its impact on jobs and wages. Mr Brown said people with concerns about immigration were not "racist" and pledged to tighten up rules on migrant workers. He said Britain's population would not reach the 70 million mark as suggested by official statistics and launched a review of visa rules and working rights for students. In his first speech on the issue for nearly two years, Mr Brown pointed to the cultural and economic benefits of immigration. But he accepted there were "significant variations" in how it affected different parts of the country. People living in towns with lots of new arrivals would worry about falling wages, fewer jobs and the supply of housing, he said. He told an audience in west London: "If the main effect of immigration on your life is to make it easier to find a plumber, or when you see doctors and nurses from overseas in your local hospital, you are likely to think more about the benefits of migration than the possible costs. But if you're living in a town which hasn't seen much inward migration before, you may worry about whether immigration will undermine wages and the job prospects of your children - and whether they will be able to get housing anywhere near you." In an attempt to assure voters that he understands their concerns over immigration, he said: "If people ask me, do I get it? Yes. I get it. I have been listening and I understand and I am today announcing new changes." Thursday's speech follows Home Secretary Alan Johnson's acceptance last week that the Government had been inept in its handling of immigration. Both reflect concerns among Labour politicians about the rise of the British National Party and a perceived failure to speak to the fears of working class Labour voters. Opposition groups accused the Prime Minister of attempting to "shut the stable door long after the horse has bolted". Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "When Gordon Brown stands up, after 12 years in office, and says 'I care now about immigration', I think that will have a pretty hollow ring. We need to make sure that immigration right now is limited. The reality is that we still have very large numbers of people coming into the country to find jobs at a time when we have high levels of unemployment." Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: "Gordon Brown is attempting to shut the stable door long after the horse has bolted. His Government's catastrophic mismanagement of the system has undermined this country's liberal attitude towards immigration."