As Edward Wheatley recently addressed a question particularly to me, it’s only courteous that I should respond.
I am really disappointed that Mr Wheatley appears to believe the narrative put forward by the popular press in that all the faults of society today are due to mass immigration.
It’s quite a surprise that Mr Wheatley should fail to read up on other perspectives which present quite a different view on immigration and the benefits that come as a result of it.
There is plenty of research which shows the claims that migrants take our jobs and cut our pay are not only wrong, but misplaced. An IPPR study found no evidence that migration from Eastern Europe since 2004 has had any substantial negative impact on either jobs or wages. More recently, a General Election briefing by the Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE observed that “there is still no evidence of an overall negative impact of immigration on jobs” and “wages” and that “any negative impacts on wages of less skilled groups are small”.
The director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, Jonathan Portes, says: “And it’s true that, if an immigrant takes a job, then a British worker can’t take that job – but it doesn’t mean he or she won’t find another one that may have been created, directly or indirectly, as a result of immigration.”
In respect of the supposed strain on public services like hospitals and schools, studies have shown that European immigrants to the UK have paid more in taxes than they receive in benefits and as such they are helping to relieve the fiscal burden on those born in the UK. They are contributing towards the financing of the public services which we need and use.
Unfortunately we have a government who are committed to following an austerity plan which sees investment in these services at the lowest level for decades in relation to our GDP. If only they collected the taxes from the very rich as well as the ordinary Joe or Joanne we might have sufficient school places and an NHS which works like we need it to.
As for housing, 60% of migrants who have come to the UK in the past five years are living in privately rented accommodation with most newly-arrived migrants being banned from access to social housing.
Again, studies have found that “there is still no evidence of an overall negative impact of immigration” on social housing. (2015 Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE).
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