A lot has been written about the effects of immigration on this country, and debates frequently degenerate into accusations of racism. So let’s try and examine the facts.
This country is currently experiencing unprecedented levels of immigration, mainly through the edict that the EU imposes on us that anyone from anywhere in the EU can come and live and work here if they want to. This is compounded by large numbers of people claiming asylum, though a lot of them are in fact economic migrants simply seeking a better life. Added to that are the unknown numbers of illegal immigrants.
Now people in favour of immigration will often claim that immigration has historically been beneficial for the country, and that may be true, but uncontrolled immigration, which is what we get as a result of EU policy, is economic madness. How can it possibly be right, when we have over 1.6 million people in this country without a job, to say that what we need in this country right now is more workers?
However immigration like this does undoubtedly benefit certain sectors of society, particularly people who are already wealthy. The steady stream of people from poorer countries, who are prepared to work for low wages and live in poor living conditions, serves to keep wages low, by undercutting the workers already here. So, if you’re running a factory, or want an extension built on your house it’s brilliant, because there are plenty of people prepared to do the work cheaply. And if your regular workforce demand a pay-rise you can easily refuse, or even sack them, safe in the knowledge there’s no shortage of willing people ready to take their place. What this means is that the wealthy get wealthier as their costs go down, and the economy grows, but the workers at the lower end of society get no benefit as their wages are pinned down. As this goes on more people are drawn into the country, but even though jobs may be created, unemployment stays constant as those new jobs go to workers prepared to work for poverty-line wages. What is basically going on is a cynical system where the poor are priced into work, and forced to either accept low wages or live on benefits.
Which brings us to the Benefits System. A lot is written about this with the current trend being to condemn benefits claimants as scroungers. Although there are undoubtedly a lot of people playing the system for their advantage, there is also a much deeper problem underlying all this. Click here to read more.
The problems of immigration are compounded by the incredible strain that vast numbers of new residents put on our infrastructure, and it is not surprising when people become unhappy with the pressure on school places, NHS waiting times, council house waiting lists etc. They see their lives being detrimentally affected in very real ways, and it is completely wrong to dismiss those concerns as irrelevant or exaggerated (net immigration is currently running at 330,000 per year, and in the last decade net migration into the UK has been 1.7m – equivalent to 1½ cities the size of Birmingham). However the problem isn’t with the immigrants themselves, who are simply going where the work is, but a government, and in particular an EU policy which created this situation in the first place.
Finally a lot is said about benefits tourism (people coming here simply to live on welfare), health tourism (people coming here just to use the NHS) and other similar problems. However it must be emphasised that, as unjust as those things may be, they are dwarfed by the issue of local workers being priced into (or out of) work by a flood of cheap labour, the only beneficiaries of which are the wealthy elites who see their costs go down.