Friday, 14 March 2014

MigrationWatch claims immigration costs £22m a day

MigrationWatch UK has published a report claiming that immigration has cost the UK £22m a day between 1995 and 2001.

The MigrationWatch report uses the same data an methodology as a recent report by UCL that claimed immigration made a positive contribution to the economy but they say they have used more realistic assumptions about immigrants claiming benefits and haven't covered up some inconvenient findings that they say UCL did.

There's no doubt in my mind that immigration costs the economy money. It is inconceivable that when unemployment is so high, the contribution an immigrant worker makes to the economy is greater than the cost of providing their own services and the services and benefits paid to someone who already lives here that could have been doing that job and the cost of providing for their family as well. Whether that cost amounts to £95bn over 6 years I don't know but the more I think about it, the more plausible it sounds.

UKIP policy is to freeze economic immigration for 5 years and then introduce a points-based system to ensure that the immigrants we do allow into the country have skills we need, money to pay their bills and a house and job to go to when they arrive. This will allow people who already live here to fill the vacancies that arise during those 5 years rather than sitting at home on benefits whilst 9 out of 10 new jobs go to newly-arrived immigrants. This policy is about space, not race and would apply equally to everyone rather than discriminating against people who don't live in EU countries as current rules do. Refugees and asylum seekers would of course be unaffected by this policy as immigration and asylum are two completely different things.

It's good to finally see some open debate about the cost of immigration to our economy and to a lesser extend the impact on society. The media will of course side with UCL because criticising immigration gets you denounced as a racist by the Guardian-reading elite but it's important that people continue to put their heads above the parapet and keep the debate going.
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