Monday, July 31, 2006
Immigration Policies Need to be Re-examined
A few years back Peter Mandelson suggested Labour take a closer look at immigration; I rather thought he was arguing for more skilful finessing of existing policy. The person who really got me thinking was Frank Field, someone whom I've always respected as transparently honest; he argued immigration policy was 'unsustainable'. Ashley's article completes the process, for me, whereby the case for re-examination is convincingly made. Government estimates of migration from Eastern Europe was 26,000 in advance of the accession of 10 new states in 2004; the actual current figure given by the government is 400,000 and that does not include illegals. Britain is so popular with aspirant immigrants because our welfare rules provide support and our employment rules provide good access to work, even if most of it is low paid.
Ashley points out that an influx of young people, hungry for work, must be good news for an ageing society constantly losing emigrants to sunnier climes. Many anecdotal reports confirm East Europeans are often more available, more efficient and cheaper than our elusive indigenous craftsmen. Good news for the consumer and for service companies seeking cheap labour to do the work our workers no longer wish to do. Not too much to worry about, you might think but this would be far too complacent. Firstly such a huge influx, as Field warns, places a huge burden on welfare services while those immigrants who are black economy workers contribute little or nothing to the common weal. Secondly it tends to crowd out local people from things like housing lists. Not so much middle class people with no need of such services, but poorer people already living in rundown areas which tend to host the new arrivals.
Thirdly, a huge addition to the labour market, at its cheapest end, inexorably pushes down wages still further. For many British people immigrants from Eastern Europe are a bit like those holiday home buyers in rural areas who make things bad for locals who want to buy their own homes. Ashley suggests the topic should be aired at the Manchester conference before arrivals begin from Bulgaria and Romania, warning that 'unless the government starts a debate on this issue, other, darker forces will.'
On the contrary, studies showing that immigration is helping to drive growth – www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=56&ArticleID=1460173 – are common. If you’re worried about immigrants driving down pay and tolerating poor working conditions, increase the minimum wage and stop people opting out of the EU’s working time directive.
Placing demands on the NHS is an interesting one. The other side to that coin may be the demands the NHS places on the rest of the world; we import an awful lot of healthcare professionals.
You also hear stuff about housing quite a lot, so I thought I’d check Manchester City Council’s housing policy (I imagine similar policies are in effect elsewhere). As I suspected it, would be difficult for an immigrant to get on a priority list:
www.manchester.gov.uk/housing/strategy/rehousing/choice11.htm and I was quite surprised that there’s a fair amount of housing available on a first-come-first-served basis: www.manchesterhomefinder.org/h2choome.shtm (though I concede it probably doesn’t meet my expectations).
It’s not very difficult to debunk the myths surrounding these issues, is it?
I'm not sure you really have here. I recall listening to people in Dagenham in a radio 4 report during the local elections when they complained housing places were taken up by immigrant families. Now they could have beenb exaggerating but they sounbded authentic to me. Clearly practice varies nationwide.
There is no doubt immigrants are crucial to our economy and have been so ever since the Windrush and probably before e.g. think of the astonishing contributions made to our culture and national life by Jewish refugees from the mid 19th century onwards. And of course immigrants should not be exploited and should receive proper rates for the jobs. My point is that the numbers have been underestimated and various problems will emerge as a result.
I'm sorry you are surprised by my 'tone', but I'm merely reporting a leaked governmeht report and a major article in a leading newspaper. I am concerned that our immigration policy appears to be based on miscalculations as to how many people are entering the country as a result of its terms.
Welcome to the Pharmamx.com Family!We invite you to visit us at www.pharmamx.com and find our great medicine prices. We provide serious and first class service to all our customers 24/7. If we do not carry a medicine you need just let us know and we will be more than glad to assist you!To show you our gratitude for past purchases and to offer you one more reason to continue purchasing with Pharmamx.com we are offering a limited time 30% discount included on all our medicines. We will keep on giving you the best price and service in the market. Welcome and enjoy your visit to Pharmamx.com.
To find out more visit: referral marketing site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering traffic and referral marketing related stuff. Don't forget, FREE, FREE, FREE!!!
Links to this post: