Have we got immigrant paranoia?

(277 Posts)
Jac1978 Mon 25-Mar-13 10:20:02

David Cameron is vowing to end benefits for EU migrants after six months. Around half a million migrants come into the UK every year, one in five from the EU but half return home every year. Only 6% of benefits claimants are foreign born - is Cameron wrongly targetting a minority and just responding to media paranoia about immigrants or is it a real problem and is he right to make things harder for them? Are we blind to the benefits of immigration? Are Brits who emigrate abroad any better?

tiggytape Mon 25-Mar-13 10:31:36

I think he is tapping in to public feeling about this.
Just as Miliband did recently when he said the last Labour Government got it wrong on immigration and should have been limited and managed much more strictly.
Just as Clegg did recently when he said his previous plans (for a amnesty on illegal immigrants who have integrated and lived here many years) was a mistake and no longer part of their policy.

Politicians are generally wise to reflect the public's opinion on issues that are popular and felt strongly. The immigration issue has become one such topic, not because of racism or losing sight of needing skilled workers, but because of the shortages so many people feel personally right now eg housing, school place shortages, NHS treatments. It has become a hot topic so all politicians and parties are keen to show they're on top of it.

sleepyhead Mon 25-Mar-13 10:39:26

It'd be interesting to see some hard, unbiased figures on all this - pigs will fly more likely though.

The NHS stuff for eg - where are the costings for how they're going to collect this money? Chase defaulters etc? What are the financial implications if someone is turned away by an administrator but then has to be treated as an emergency case? How are people going to prove that they are entitled to NHS treatment? Will we all have to carry ID cards (financial cost?) or will only "foreign" looking people be asked to prove eligibility? How will frontline staff decide who is foreign enough to challenge?

I'll be extremely pissed off if this ends up being another ill-conceived money pit that benefits no-one, creates no solution but allows Cameron & his party to play tough to the gallery. Give me properly thought out policy, not soundbites.

wannabeEostregoddess Mon 25-Mar-13 10:44:28

You sound like a journalist.

niceguy2 Mon 25-Mar-13 11:03:33

I think Cameron has been forced into it by the recent results from UKIP.

To be fair there is a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment in the country partly because of the explosion of EU migrants over the last decade, the recession and whipped up by the tabloids.

All this shows me is that we need to be careful what we wish for. Immigration is a hot topic which deserves to be debated but knee jerk reactions help noone.

flatpackhamster Mon 25-Mar-13 11:06:35

wannabeEostregoddess

You sound like a journalist.

He/She is a journalist. Guardian or BBC (is there any difference?) would be my guess.

Why he/she can't eff off and do some actual research instead of lazily sucking up other people's ideas isn't clear. Oh wait, yes it is, they're a journalist.

Jac1978 Mon 25-Mar-13 11:21:50

Wtf? Am a stay at home mum trying to get an interesting intelligent debate going on here!!!!!! If you don't want to join in that's up to you but don't try to undermine the discussion!

sleepyhead Mon 25-Mar-13 11:33:49

Jac, unfortunately the troll hunters are also obsessed with journo hunting. It's very dull but there you are.

Apparently they have clues that send their journo-radar spinning. Your title sounds a bit like a headline so that's probably what got them birling this time.

There will be other threads about this which will be acceptable to them, so probably best to junk this one and just wait for one to be started by someone else. <sigh>

flatpackhamster Mon 25-Mar-13 11:43:59

Jac1978

Wtf? Am a stay at home mum trying to get an interesting intelligent debate going on here!!!!!! If you don't want to join in that's up to you but don't try to undermine the discussion!

I'm sorry if I accused you unfairly. It does seem to me that there have been an awful lot of threads started by you which sound 'journalisty'. Again, apologies if that isn't the case.

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 12:06:25

I think Cameron is wise to make a statement on what he is doing about immgration and the borders opening for two troubled countries next year.

Its seems very unfair that you could be right at the top of a council house waiting list having waited patiently in turn and then someone from another country who has not paid a penny into the system is deemed as being in more urgent need than you.

My question on all of this is that when for example a Romanian family of 5 turns up at Heathrow with no accomendation arranged who is responsible for finding them somewhere? I suspect a hostel of some sort but they wont be left to live on the streets. Surely just like Australia they need to prove that they can provide for themselves and that their skills are in demand but I guess the EU entry means they dont need to do this.

I can see all sorts of issues for certain parts of the country. Of course if you live in the Costwolds you will wonder what all the fuss is about.

frogwatcher1 Mon 25-Mar-13 12:22:52

Im not sure that living in the Cotswolds will stop people wondering what all of the fuss is about anymore. I live in a small rural town and work with colleagues who are housing based. They are preparing to provide housing for an overflow of people if it should happen and the South East can't cope - well that is what they tell me anyway. The expectation seems to be that there will be a lot of people arrive and that they will need schools and housing. My understanding is that the people in power want anybody moving into the country from the new Europe to be spread around the UK.

Camerons plan appears very badly thought out - what if a pregnant lady goes into labour and has no money - will we refuse to treat her?. What if the kids are sick in school and parents cant pay for GP? Of course all will continue to be treated free of charge as it will be too difficult to control and monitor.

It seems a mad plan to me - although I do understand that some control is needed as I have friends in the NHS and schools in the South East and they are really struggling to cope. I don't think he has it right though. To be honest, I think if I was in Romania, living in relative poverty and had poor education for my kids I would move anyway - even if just for the free education.

frogwatcher1 Mon 25-Mar-13 12:29:06

And of course my colleagues could have it wrong or I may have misunderstood. Not sure if the ops stats are right there is a problem anyway.

ChunkyPickle Mon 25-Mar-13 12:39:22

I don't know about the stats either, ie. whether it's actually worth the effort to stop it.

I do know, that every country I've lived in (and I've lived in a few) has expected me, as an immigrant to support myself and pay for my own healthcare. In some cases just for the first few months, in some cases permanently. I don't think that requiring new arrivals to have insurance, or to be employed for 3-6 months before they can access free healthcare, or 2-5 years before they can access other benefits is unreasonable.

Actually, that's not entirely true, in Singapore I could have moved into their equivalent of social housing if I wanted, for low rent - however I wouldn't have been allowed into Singapore unless I was earning enough for an employment pass and be deported if I lost that job.

On the other hand, children should be allowed into school, they should have their immunisations, they should be entitled to the care they need I think because I don't want to be part of a society that would stop children from doing that. I don't know how to square that with the idea that I seem to be happy to give them no-where to live/no money to eat - perhaps I hope that their parents will take responsibility for that and take them home.

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 12:49:49
ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 12:53:47

I doubt that the Nasty party would be able to limit benefits to EU immigrants, as it would probably contravene EU rules.

In any case, does anyone have any evidence that large numbers of EU migrants are coming to the UK, not to work, but to simply claim benefits? Or is this more Daily Mail xenophobic scaremongering?

sleepyhead Mon 25-Mar-13 12:55:54

Chunky, my main problem with it is, in a healthcare system that is not generally set up for handling cash or payments by insurance, especially not our network of GP practices, what is the additional cost to the state of building in that infrastructure in such a way that payments can be collected quickly and reliably, can be accounted for and audited.

Systems that already have an insurance system in place, or routinely charge for primary care wouldn't have this issue. Will we find that a layer of bureaucracy is built into the system to collect small amounts of money from a small number of people? Will the "cure" cost us more than the problem? I really, really don't know.

There are no visas for people from European Member states which is the big immigration issue that people seem most concerned about so it's impossible as things stand to compel them to buy insurance before entry. For other foreign nationals I can see that making sense, but again how do you know at point of care, in a system that currently does not have a routine check of eligibility, who to challenge? What extra form-filling and administration does it build into the system to catch the few? If we all have to prove elligibility how will that be done? Will the inconvenience to the majority be balanced by savings made or will it just be done on colour of skin or accent?

wannabeEostregoddess Mon 25-Mar-13 13:02:55

I cant see how it will work without closing the borders. As a pp has said, what if someone needs treatment? Are we to have homeless migrants on our streets?

I would welcome tighter restrictions on who can enter the country, like those in Australia. But I cant see how loose border control and lack of basic provisions go together.

frogwatcher1 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:03:18

I don't expect there is any evidence that there will be large numbers of EU migrants coming to the UK with the intention of not working as I would doubt that will be the case.

I personally believe there will be quite large numbers of EU migrants in the next few years (because I know I would migrate given such a huge difference in the quality of life and education for my children such as that between some areas of Romania etc and the UK). When they get here they may find that they cant get work - its hard out there for anybody to get work at the moment in my experience - and hence there may end up being large numbers on benefits albeit not through their choice.

I think there is plenty of evidence, in certain parts of the country, that schools, hospitals, housing etc are struggling to cope with the population. In some towns there is evidence of a lot of EU migration.

However in some EU countries such as Spain there is also a lot of evidence in some areas of migration from the UK.

Its a difficult one and truly I don't think any of us really know the truth or whether there is a genuine economic problem.

ChunkyPickle Mon 25-Mar-13 13:05:37

Sleepy, I entirely take your point.

In Canada I was issued with my care card (just a plastic version of an NHS card really) which I had to provide for all treatment. Before I had that card (3 months residency to qualify), I was still treated, but received an invoice in the post for that treatment - or occasionally could pay on the spot.

I don't see an issue with one of the many pieces of paperwork you have to apply for when moving here being your NHS number (along with National Insurance number, Tax number etc.), and I don't see it as a 'papers please' id card situation to require people to use that number when accessing healthcare. If I went to France and needed care I would need to have my E111(or whatever it is now), or I would be charged. If I moved there I would arrange for their health card (I can't remember what that is called either) or I would be charged. We are part of the EU, and need to get up to speed with the idea that no everyone who roles up at the surgery will be entitled to care paid for by the UK - sometimes it will be another government, and sometimes it will be the person themselves.

We do have existing systems for that kind of charging - so that EU citizens can have their home country charged, and so that non-EU citizens can be billed, and I think that this system can be, and needs to be improved.

SherbetVodka Mon 25-Mar-13 13:06:03

To be honest, I think if I was in Romania, living in relative poverty and had poor education for my kids I would move anyway - even if just for the free education.

Romanian education is free. And I wouldn't assume that our education system is necessarily superior to theirs. Am pretty sure they don't have anything like as much disruptive classroom behaviour interfering with their kids' learning. (Ex-H is romanian, I'm not just guessing here)

sleepyhead Mon 25-Mar-13 13:18:36

We do have an NHS card at the moment, but it's just a piece of paper - there would be nothing to stop someone using someone else's NHS number so that would have to be overhauled (expensive), unless you made a rule that you had to have the paper plus a form of photographic ID, and good luck getting the majority of current NHS users (who tend to be elderly or otherwise vulnerable) to remember to do that...

I'm nitpicking, but really I worry that knee jerk statement like this end up costing the country in the long term.

I didn't personally see the problem when they were talking about bringing in ID cards, which would have solved some of the above, however vast swathes of the population didn't want anything to do with them, and in fact the ConDems got loud cheers from the media when they scrapped the plans. Ironic.

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 13:21:46

froggy-

> I think there is plenty of evidence, in certain parts of the country, that schools, hospitals, housing etc are struggling to cope with the population. In some towns there is evidence of a lot of EU migration.

Maybe, but why phrase that in terms of an 'immigration problem' when instead it validly be called a 'lack of infrastructure problem'?

We know that there is already a lack of housing, let alone affordable housing, for people in the UK. There haven't been enough houses built for decades.

Landlords are then able to charge exorbitant rents which many people can't afford, and so the state has to subsidize people in the form of housing benefits just so they have a roof over their heads - remember, most people claiming benefits of one sort or another are working full time.

And so people complain about "Can't afford the immigrants" or "Can't afford benefits payments" when the real problem is something more fundamental.

If the govt. built more houses then rents would go down. If rents went down, people would claim less in housing benefits.

If the minimum wage was raised to a living wage, more people could afford to live without state subsidies.

Do you see where I'm going with this? In all these cases the govt. is trying to divert attention and criticism towards immigrants or the poor or your neighbour because it is failing to live up to its job in managing the economy properly.

frogwatcher1 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:22:26

The difference I am referring to is that my understanding is that some sectors of society in Romania have it really hard compared to here. I have dealt with some people through work who settled here as migrants (working) and they had it really hard - nothing that we would accept here in UK. They were living in tents at home, and were treated as outcasts yet were lovely responsible people. I am going by what they told me - I have no experience personally so will bow to your better knowledge Sherbet.

If Romania (and other EU countries) have better education, better standard of living and probably more work (as it is getting difficult here) - why would anybody bother to come to UK? Yet there is significant EU migration here? Genuine question as personally I am not a fan of the UK and would love to live in some of the other EU countries but have committments here and can't go. I have yet to understand why people would choose to come.

ChunkyPickle Mon 25-Mar-13 13:23:59

I might be naive, but I think that most people are honest.

There was no photo id with my Canadian card and that seemed to work fine, there's no photo id with Tax or NI numbers and sure, there's some fraud, but as a rule it works out. The existing system would be fine.

I think that if you went to a doctor with someone else's NHS number you would be rumbled a lot of the time - purely by things like not knowing your history or date of birth etc.

I don't like ID cards - I don't like the idea of being required to always carry something to prove who I am, and I like even less the idea that one piece of identity like that will come to be more trusted than anything else about me - people have a habit of blindly trusting what a computer tells them and I think that fastening all of me to one card can only lead to trouble.

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:24:00

And I would move too. If you were offered something for 'free' that was much better than what you had before of course you would take it. The fact that it is funded by others is probably not your highest concern.

From a economic point of view though it cannot work. The borders will be open and you dont necessarily need to prove or be capable of offering anything to the new country.

This might not be popular but there is a large crime problem regarding a certain ethic group of people near where I live. Perhaps if the one strike and your out were considered? Committ any crime and be convicted and you need to go back to the country of orgin. Not suggesting for just Uk but for the whole of the EU.

If you visit a country with the aim on stealing or comitting other crimes (regardless of what country you are coming from) you automatically go back.

Otherwise what is the answer....

Who is going to pay for people who want to move for economic advantage and to gain benefits they wouldnt have a hope in hell of getting anywhere else?

frogwatcher1 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:26:11

ttosca - the problem is that the country is not big enough to keep building houses. There just isnt the space if we want to keep some farming viability.

The housing crisis is not just about a growing population - expectations are that smaller numbers of people live in a house now compared to previously. Lots of split families etc.

As I keep saying, I have no idea if there is a genuine problem or not. I do agree (strongly) however, that a living wage should be paid for employment. That in itself would save the government a fortune.

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:36:16

I wouldnt have an issue with ID cards. When you talk about ID cards leading to trouble. Not having ID cards also leads to trouble.

niceguy2 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:40:43

why would anybody bother to come to UK?

I think this is a common question for those who have not visited a lot of other countries and perception of foreign countries is based upon a couple of weeks in a hotel by the beach.

The simple fact is that there are many many countries out there which is nowhere near as developed and far more corrupt than good old blighty.

When the EU was composed of member states which was roughly the same in terms of economic development then this wasn't a big issue. But then the EU expanded to the East where the member countries economies were/are vastly inferior. Salaries there are way down, benefits non-existant and competition for good jobs sky high.

So if you live in one of these countries where you've studied hard but job prospects are low. Your salary is about 3x higher in the UK even for a menial job and the state is generous in it's benefits, would you move? I know I probably would.

That coupled with the fact our society is (rightly) very tolerant to other cultures and that most people will speak a few words of English thanks to the TV, it makes us an incredibly attractive destination.

The big concern I have is that Bulgaria & Romania have large young populations and governments which are by western standards of questionable stature. The two combined may tempt a lot more people to come to our shores.

Ttosca makes a good point that the immigration problem can be also described as an infrastructure problem but infrastructure takes time to expand but the effects of immigration affect us now.

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:49:45

Having spent some time in Romania - it is very troubled. Crime is rife, gangs are everywhere and the people have been ravaged by dictatorships over the the years. And for those who say of course the education is free and why would anyone come to the UK.

Well, I think the stats speak for themselves. It worries me that when the EU was created that they didnt give grades to different countries dependant on their economic status. Otherwise if you are allowed to you will always move somewhere where things are paid for by others and this country is very tolerant of other cultures and often bend over backwards to accomedate.

And I am speaking as someone whose parents were not born in the country. My DM came over many many years ago with a skill that the UK were looking for. Thats the only reason she was allowed in.

frogwatcher1 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:52:09

nineguy - a couple of genuine questions.

Even if wages were higher in the UK (or Germany or elsewhere), surely the increased cost of living outweighs the benefit of having a job here on a larger salary? People are genuinely struggling on two salaries (I know we are) so how would it be beneficial to migrate from Bulgaria, Romania for a better salary?

Secondly - I am really confused when I see people say that housing needs to be built, infrastructure expanded etc. Overcrowding leads to decreased quality of life (fact as shown by many studies) and if we continue to build more and more houses, roads etc surely life becomes less pleasant? I know that there is a serious problem with a lack of social housing etc (I dont think it should have been sold off but that is another debate), but surely continuously building isnt the answer (not sure what is).

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:54:30

Frog - I thinks that's where benefits kick in.... If workers (or non workers) from other coutries are on low or no salaries then they will potentially be given money to pay for those higher cost items.

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:58:04

Think to stop the UK being swamped we need to consider whether we have a zero tolerance on ANY crime and also that someone needs to prove that they can sustain themselves without relying on the state.

If you are a worker from another country with little in ways of skills you will know that the chances of finding a well paid role is small. However what you also know is that there is probably a chance to have those low wages topped up to enable you to live in a better way than you did in your previous country. And of course there is free education, free NHS etc. All of which you have not paid into.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 25-Mar-13 13:59:51

Actually NHS GPs can and already have system in place to charge foreigners for treatment. PIL are British, sounds like Brummies, while we are the kiwis living in the UK. When they came to visit, they paid to see our GP for prescriptions. They aren't registered at any GPs, and obviously they were honest. That's when we were asked to pay for the visit. It was cheaper than what they pay to see their GPs in NZ, and they were on benefits back home with a community service card.

And it's a total misconception that it is hard to get into Australia. They have a massive migrant population. A quick google told me just over 1/4 of Australia population is foreign born. I've always thought the entire point about our point based immigration system is to get more migrants to come. When you arrive, you are already a resident, having the right tell your boss to stuff himself and look for another job. As opposed to the UK system where you are at the whim of the company sponsoring your visa.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 25-Mar-13 14:01:07

The "our" in my post refers to New Zealand, and extends to Australia. As I believe our point system was based on the aussies.

sleepyhead Mon 25-Mar-13 14:02:50

In many of the areas in the South where there are high immigration numbers, the immigrants come to do work such as fruit & veg picking or other short term/seasonal/zero hour contract work.

They live packed in to accommodation, sometimes with people on opposite shifts bed-sharing in order to reduce costs and maximise the amount of money saved/sent home.

British people often can't do this work because of the benefit trap - start work and get your benefits withdrawn, but it's a zero hour contract/short term and by the time you get back on benefits once the work has gone you've lost your home/can't feed your children.

The agricultural industry does, and always has, rely on migrants to be a flexible and disposable source of labour. These migrants have to be taken out of the equation when we look at the figures.

Immigrants with families with them wouldn't be able to do this work for the same reason British nationals can't.

wannabeEostregoddess Mon 25-Mar-13 14:05:02

There was a programme on a few years ago about a plane that leaves london every thursday and heads for a country which has seen a lot of its citizens migrate here.

Who is on the plane? Fugitives from that country. Rapists. Burglars. Theres a whole team of people whose job is to track these people down. They find them and send them back.

How about we intercept them on the way in instead?

niceguy2 Mon 25-Mar-13 14:07:27

Frog. What you will probably find is that in these countries that the cost of property and to a lesser extent food is at a lower cost. Everything else is comparable to UK prices. A lot is more expensive. Especially the nicer things.

To give you an example my when my fiancee's family and friends visit us in the UK they load up with clothes shopping for their return. Why? Because clothes are believe it or not more expensive over there and the quality lower. Here in the UK we don't think much of Primark quality but that is quite middle of the road from what I've seen in Eastern Europe.

The luxuries are certainly more expensive. To give you another example it is cheaper to buy an iphone in the UK than in Poland. And that's direct conversion without factoring in the fact your average Pole earns way less.

So if you are young, educated and ambitious. Why not come to the UK and try to make it? If you fail you can go home. If you make it, you can send money home. It's quite a no brainer for many youngsters.

Bitzer Mon 25-Mar-13 14:08:34

Declaimer: woefully ignorant about the statistics so this is all based on anecdotal evidence from immigrants I've met in the local community (who, almost without exception are v hard-working and the opposite of the benefit-scrounging stereotype). The ones I have spoken to here (central London) mostly come from Poland, Romania, Bulgaria etc and they come here because:
- there are more jobs (and better paid jobs) - and frogwatcher in response to your question, they generally find the lowest rent possible by moving to 'less desirable' areas and share with A LOT of housemates, they also live really cheaply
- their children get good, free schooling
- they get free medical care

They are often working as cleaners and carers (the kinds of jobs that are low-paid and unpopular I guess) or in construction. They are often over-qualified for the jobs they are doing but haven't found work in their home countries. In a couple of cases they've gone on to study for childcare qualifications and seem to be able to claim some welfare support while they are studying. I don't know the ins and outs of it but I'm guessing that is not something that would be available in their home countries.

I think for all it's faults, the UK offers a pretty good standard of living when compared with a lot of the countries that these particular immigrants are coming from.

Bitzer Mon 25-Mar-13 14:17:58

Having said that, I've also met a few Eastern Europeans (through a local drop-in centre) who have attempted to do what niceguy said, but it hasn't worked out, they've ended up homeless and jobless and subsequently started drinking etc. They often don't tell their families what's going on because they don't want to be seen to have failed sad

BenjaminButton172 Mon 25-Mar-13 14:19:16

I think something needs to be done. We have a housing and a job shortage and still let people move here.

We need to be more like other stricter countries. Maybe something like if u already have somewhere to live and a job then u can be granted entry.

I am all for migration but it shouldnt be a free for all as we as a country cant cope.

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 25-Mar-13 14:36:32

A lot of the eastern European immigrants I know are well qualified with assets in home country, but can only get basic jobs here. They still stay because it's still better.

My friend told me when the euro came in, products that were sold across Europe (like food) suddenly shot up in price, because it was easier for the suppliers to charge the same as in much wealthier western Europe. Everyone struggles to save because living costs have become very high compared to wages.

All of the immigrants I know work and from chatting aren't aware of what they/their UK born dc are entitled to, let alone attempting to milk the system! So I do think the immigrants/benefits issue is spin.

Disclaimer: I am (kind of) an immigrant too.

Statistics about benefits claimants include anyone who wasn't born in the UK. That includes vast numbers of families who were born abroad to a British parent and returned to the UK later. I know half a dozen people whose parents are BOTH British but were born abroad because they had a parent in the military/foreign office/private work contract abroad.

NishiNoUsagi Mon 25-Mar-13 14:40:16

It's just ridiculous. He's not proposing anything new or groundbreaking, the majority of these policies are already in place so how he can profess to be changing the system I don't know..

NHS hospitals already all have an Overseas Visitor team, they know by your NHS number (is it newly registered/lack of one) etc if you've come from overseas. Even I, British national but had been living abroad for a few years, was approached by the Overseas Visitor team and asked to provide paperwork to prove that I was planning to stay in the UK long term, and not have my operation and leave the country.

Only 6% of benefits go to foreign born people.

Only 9% of social housing (about 300,000 houses - compare that to over 1 million houses that councils have sold off and not replaced over the last 10 years - that, much more than immigrants is what's causing the housing deficit).

Immigrants already can't just walk into the country and claim benefits. Those who come in on a spouse visa for eg (from outside EU anyway) are not eligible for any benefits. Yet under new regulations, they have to earn/bring in at least £18,600 pa (more if they have dependants - up to £30,00pa if they have 2 or 3 kids) Which would mean paying taxes and NI. They are eligible for benefits when they receive citizenship (usually 5 years?) at which point they will have been paying into the system for years. Here's a useful breakdown of other situations;

http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-qa-how-many-migrants-are-on-the-dole/9148

But no, just jump on the immigrant bashing bandwagon Mr C Sigh Bit of distraction from the millions other problems that the government has no intention of fixing..

NishiNoUsagi Mon 25-Mar-13 14:44:18

Oh, and this wink

"In England, councils prioritise Housing applicants by using a points system. The worse someone’s situation is, the more points they get. There are no points for being a refugee or from another country, and so no priority given on that basis.

Furthermore, a person without health problems, children or disabilities is unlikely to be found “priority need” so unlikely to get any council accommodation at all. Just like a British person in the same position."

Taken from here, https://www.facebook.com/KeepCalmBritain?fref=ts

Callisto Mon 25-Mar-13 14:50:38

I think our border controls should be very much tighter, more in line with Canada/Australia where you can't just walk in and access benefits, you need to have a job, work permit, visa etc before you arrive.

We are the most heavily populated country in the EU, we have a serious housing problem, the NHS is at capacity as are school places. We need less people coming in. Period.

niceguy2 Mon 25-Mar-13 14:59:47

....where you can't just walk in and access benefits, you need to have a job, work permit, visa etc before you arrive.

But you can't already. My fiancee was denied benefits when she was effectively homeless after splitting from her violent and drunk ex-H because she'd returned home for a couple of months during her pregnancy for an extended holiday and thereby failing the habitual residence tests. This is despite having lived and worked in the UK for several years prior.

Despite the crap peddled in the papers you already can't just waltz in and claim benefits. It's already very tough. The only 'benefits' you can claim are those when you work. And that's how it should be.

ppeatfruit Mon 25-Mar-13 15:01:32

Yes nishi

The housing crisis needs to be thought through more creatively; all the empty houses and flats could be repaired before building any more little boxes on green belt land or flood plains its so short sighted and stupid; there won't be any land left soon. Plus the thousands of empty offices could be converted thus giving buiders jobs etc. if I hear one more effing politician say "build more houses" I'll scream.

williaminajetfighter Mon 25-Mar-13 15:03:22

Agree with the others that these systems are already in place but not working universally. GPs can charge but most aren't set up and I imagine it is a HUGE amount of grief to charge than to just let someone 'join the system'. Ditto hospitals. Plus it is a massive culture shift to do this or to turn down potential patients - unlike the USA. Local authorities do work on a points based system - but immigrants without homes, connections and many children usually make top of the list. They also have a duty of care....

I DO think Immigration is a problem mainly because of the pressure it is putting on services without the subsequent uplift in resources. Britain is PACKED and apparently the south-east of England is the most dense place in Europe outside of Malta... an island. I feel it - we really are packed in.

I also think some of the ethnic ghettos (sorry, that sounds like a tory term doesn't it!) does create real, legitimate issues for those living in and near them, things that most MPs haven't or won't experience - eg. tensions in council housing areas that are predominantly mono-cultural. I am an immigrant (moved from Canada in 1997) but in principle agree that govt needs to do something and it's frustrating that it's all talk and no action.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 25-Mar-13 15:03:58

niceguy2 I think there are some mythical migrants who can just walk in and access benefits. While on the other hand, we know of ones who were refused. In your fiancee case, ofc, much more dire than my british ILs who have to pay for NHS treatments because they aren't resident.

timidviper Mon 25-Mar-13 15:10:18

I had a chap ranting at me at work last week that he worked with a lot of polish workers who all claim child benefit for children in Poland who have never set foot in the UK. If this is true this money is being sent overseas, not benefitting our economy and draining the system.

I am concerned about the xenophobia that is evident (my 83 year old Mum is my barometer on these things as she only picks up the main stories and prevailing moods these days. She has told me several stories about immigrants, romanians, etc recently) but I do think we need to review our system to protect the needs and future of our own people.

williaminajetfighter Mon 25-Mar-13 15:11:31

should also say that as an immigrant I was denied access to any benefits (recourse to funds) and this was noted in my passport and my work visa. That said, I never tried to access funds. 8 years later I did receive baby Bonus but that was through my british partner -- I wasn't allowed it!

gettingaway Mon 25-Mar-13 15:16:19

Callisto, as an immigrant you can't access any benefits. There is a point based system for visa issued and it is written across your visa that no recourse to public funds. Also the jobs offered are based on labour market test. You are only offered a job if there are no UK or eu candidates available.

I have friends and family who are definitely under the impression that the waiting list for a council house is long because immigrants are getting the top priority for placement. My MIL swears up and down that this is true, that a friend's daughter was told she could not move out of her mum's home and into a council property because immigrants got the first pick. An old friend is convinced that she would have been handed a grant to set up her long-awaited council house with a cooker and fridge, had she been "black, a lesbian and a drug addict". I think most of the vitriol comes from a lack of access to housing.

What that lack of access is really based on - well, that should be studied in depth, and I've yet to see anything publicized if it already has been. Personally, I have no clue what local authorities base their council housing priorities on - as an actual immigrant, I'm actually not allowed a council house. But I am non-EU; maybe if I was Polish, it would be different?

I can also confirm that it took me five months to get my first job in the UK, and this was pre-recession in 2007. There was a catch-22 with the Job Centre's policy on issuing National Insurance numbers. You cannot get an NI number unless you have a job offer. However, as most job-seekers are aware, most places will not hire you unless you have an NI number. The exception to this are industries with high turnover, such as retail and food service. Which is where I got my first UK job, before working my way back into my industry.

Chipstick10 Mon 25-Mar-13 15:42:02

No we haven't got immigration paranoia.

znaika Mon 25-Mar-13 15:45:02

I don't know about the paranoia, I don't really care actually as I'm not UK (althought was a top rate UK tax payer for nearly a decade) and no longer live there. I will just chip in to day what the incentives are as an Eastern European.

There is an incredible naivety in the UK about what the level of poverty is like. As nice guy says most consumer goods are way more expensive. A lot of people live in dire, delapidated accommodation that they don't pay for because they just kept the property when communism finished and so are overcrowded with many generations. Rents in big cities can be comparable for rents in little UK cities and what you pay for is utter crap. You get no protection from landlords like in the UK. Schooling is still old school rote learning and there is no special needs provision of even acknowledgement of things like ASD or even dyslexia. Their hospitals (maybe have nice flagship one in capital) are filthy, staffed by people on 150-200 Euro a month and don't have equipment e.g you must do you own nursing, so you may be told what drugs to get then go buy and administer them to you family member, then feed them.

In the UK you can get credit at good rates, even the shittest accomodation is like how the really successful live in Romania (for instance).Then there is the English language thing. People work hard to get on and know that the golden egg is to learn english, it can literally double your salary back there. The income level in Poland cannot be compared to Romania and Bulgaria either.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 25-Mar-13 15:47:20

ProbablyJustGas it could be the industry? I assume you don't actually need a visa to work when you arrived at 2007? I came as a spouse of a UK citizen and I got my first job offer in 2004 pretty much straight away, without an NI number. It's as a research fellow at a Russell Group university. I was writing up my PhD so I have only a promise towards the right qualification. I wasn't asked at all if I have an NI number. It was obvious from my CV I was from overseas.

znaika Mon 25-Mar-13 15:47:30

so what I am saying is- of course there are very real incentives. it's pointless saying the UK has issues- maybe it does to you -an educated wealthy westerner- but to us, my God you have no idea how wonderful the UK is!!

Orphadeus Mon 25-Mar-13 16:00:43

'The previous Government did not keep records of the nationality of a benefit claimant and so it has not been possible to publish details up to now. These figures were produced as a result of a series of data matches between the Department of Work and Pensions, UK Border Agency and HM Revenue and Customs to build the best possible picture.

It found that as of February 2011 there were 371,000 people claiming DWP working age benefits who were non-UK nationals when they first registered for a National Insurance Number, of these 258,000 were non-EEA nationals.'

www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2012/jan-2012/dwp005-12.shtml

It is said it is 6.4% rather than the 6% in the OP. If 371 000 was 6.4%, that would indicate there are 5 796 875 benefit claimants.

'There were 5.7 million working age benefit claimants at August 2012. This is a decrease of 95 thousand in the year to August 2012.

statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=statistical_summaries

So it is about 6.4%

However, there is a clear contradiction. Here is a graph of unemplyement by gender and ethnicity, 2009 - 2011: www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.ethnicity.ac.uk/employment/images/unemploymentbygenderandethnicty_000.png&imgrefurl=http://www.ethnicity.ac.uk/employment/unemployment.html&h=474&w=770&sz=16&tbnid=NsdMnstyfAjMIM:&tbnh=74&tbnw=120&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dunemployment%2Bby%2Bethnicity%2Buk%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=unemployment+by+ethnicity+uk&usg=__KI8cP6SOQF3ssH5VTh7M0mdmKxo=&docid=y6EyTC-hCfDevM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=r3BQUc7bFoKf0QWm74D4Cg&ved=0CF4Q9QEwBQ&dur=3700

As 11% of the population in the UK was born abroad, it would appear someone is lying.

Orphadeus Mon 25-Mar-13 16:05:34

Here is the page from which the graph was taken: www.ethnicity.ac.uk/employment/unemployment.html

WidowWadman Mon 25-Mar-13 16:15:01

I'm an EU immigrant and have been living and working (and paying tax and NI)here for almost 8 years. My husband is English, so are my children. The only thing that has stopped me so far from applying for citizenship is the extortionate cost.

This rethoric scares me and makes me feel very unwelcome.

Oblomov Mon 25-Mar-13 16:17:29

Cameron is only being prompted by the recent UKLIP support, right?
Only 6% foreign?
What is being done about the other 94% then?
What about all these 16 years olds that have been advised to get their names on the housing list asap?
What about all those that have been on benefits for years and have no inclination or incentive to get off them. Is that what makes up the 94%?

JennyPiccolo Mon 25-Mar-13 16:19:54

Of 2m net migrants to the uk only 13000 claimed jsa.

JennyPiccolo Mon 25-Mar-13 16:21:17

Sorry, dd jumping on me. Here's the link
http://m.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/mar/25/david-cameron-immigration-speech-trouble

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 16:24:51

Surely - a homeless family landing at Heathrow from say Bulgaria will go to the top of the housing ladder whether that be a hostel or something similar. They are liternally homeless or will they be turned away because they have no way of supporting themselves.

Will they be asked to prove they can support themselves for a certain length of time. I am not sure tbh.

Hostels might be far better than what they left behind despite in the UK it being places that most dont want to stay in.

If I was coming in from a EU country and needing to get a NI number I would literally get any old job to get my number. And if I was low skilled that could be cleaning or just ANYTHING. Once I get the NI number - well I am in....

JennyPiccolo Mon 25-Mar-13 16:25:20
slug Mon 25-Mar-13 16:28:57

Like you WidoWadman I'm an immigrant without UK citizenship. I've lived, worked and paid taxes here for 20 years.

The rhetoric scares the beejezuz out of me. So much so that I've started looking for jobs closer to home. There was a time where the term immigrant seemed to be incomplete without the qualifier "illegal" in front of it, but this time it's worse.

So that's one higher tax rate payer with her specialist, hard to find skills and her expensively trained and highly specialised husband looking to leave.

alemci Mon 25-Mar-13 16:39:48

I think his policies make sense and we need to sort out who is here first and place tighter restrictions on people coming here who are not skilled. Plus housing must be given to people who have been waiting on the list for a long time not someone who has just arrived. Doesn't make economic sense.

It is a shame that restrictions weren't put in place a long time ago and we were more selective about who came to GB.

Also the doctor charges their patients for immunisations for holidays and for signing a passport so why not charge non residents for services if residents have to pay for some things then there must be a system in place.

You talk sense Maisie Joe.

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 16:49:05

I was at a Walk in GP centre recently. Waiting a while was to be expected the sort of people walking in literally off the street was an eye opener.

All vistors were asked for proof of address, a number walked off when being asked to prove where they lived. Two people couldnt speak English and one didnt know what a nurse was.

I have to pay for prescriptions. They didnt have any change so clearly their clients were people who didnt pay anyway. I only had to go there because my local GP was full..

GrowSomeCress Mon 25-Mar-13 16:59:51

Read a few of the posts on this page and you will discover that he is absolutely responding to the (bigoted) opinions of many

https://www.facebook.com/pages/10-Downing-Street/149971851704138?fref=ts

GrowSomeCress Mon 25-Mar-13 17:01:51

And when I say bigoted, I don't mean that anybody who wants controls on immigration is a bigot - it's just that some of those posts are very racist.

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 17:42:50

Actually I think the racism element is a red herring. Our country is overflowing, we are coming out of one of the worst recessions we can all remember, and there is an option for people from other countries who have far far less in terms of benefits and access to education/heathcare to come here for free. I actually dont blame them. Its like having two job offers for exactly the same role. Do you take the one for £10k or £20k.....

The UK is a very tolerant country. A colleague of mine a few years ago lost her son in Iraq When she went to meet the coffin that had been flown home a group of (well I dont know what to call them!) were demonstrating and making the most awful comments about the British Gov - AND THEY WERE ALLOWED TO.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 17:57:54

OP
If you are a journo - or if there are any journos posting / lurking on this thread -
here is the real question.

Access to the NHS will be limited for those who are not British or permanent resident.
BUT
The government has absolutely no idea how many foreign nationals live here with 'indefinite leave to remain'.
We are not on the electoral roll because we are not British.
We show on the census as immigrants
BUT we do not have or need visas to stay here - so our numbers are never counted.

The first guess they came up with - when Visas replaced ILRs was that there were around 250,000 of us. wrong The latest estimate is around ten times that.
We have foreign NI numbers and NHS numbers but are taxpayers entitled to use the NHS and get social housing and benefits.

But how many of us are there ????

chibi Mon 25-Mar-13 18:00:57

i keep trying to convince my dh to go back to my country with me. the rhetoric about how i (and people like me) are destroying the country when we aren't ripping people off and scrounging benefits is depressing to say the least

i work hard, pay tax, contribute to the community, but nope, fuck me, maybe i came over on that plane full of criminals that someone referred to earlier.

i am glad my children look nice and anglo saxon, and that they have cute home county accents, and their father's english surname, i dread to think how they might be treated in 20 years time, if people were to find out their mother was some scummy migrant sad

don't worry, no one is racist, you are entitled to your opinions, and it your country (clear to me after 10+ years it will never be mine, no matter what i give or contribute). i don't know why i read these threads, it blows to read in detail just how low and nasty people think of you

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 18:04:40

Here is a chart showing the percentage of people in the UK claiming benefits. It compares EU immigrants with UK nationals:

imageshack.us/photo/my-images/818/euimmigrants.jpg/

The source is from the BBC. Unfortunately, I can't find the original article.

Long story short, UK natives are roughly twice as likely to be claiming benefits or be using social housing then EU immigrants.

---

So why are we having a discussion about the EU immigrant scare, allegedly coming over here using our 'generous' benefit system, when firstly nobody knew the scale of EU immigrants claiming benefits, and when it is now shown that EU immigrants are twice less likely to claim benefits than UK nationals?

Is it because the Daily fucking Hate Mail sets the agenda in this country?

Callisto Mon 25-Mar-13 18:05:43

I was referring to EU migrants rather than non-EU migrants.

Of course there will be friction and growing xenophobia and racism when you have a situation where everyone is skint, noone can afford to buy a house, jobs are impossible to come by, there is big problem with over-population and anyone from the EU can come here whether they bring anything economically or not. We are continually bailing out other countries and our own is in shit order. People are scared and angry. Something will give eventually, Cameron is trying to head that off.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 18:06:00

PS I'm non EU so I'm the lowest of the low ...
but I look and sound English so take great pleasure in pointing out that anti immigration pontificators ARE racist.

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 18:08:55

Maisie-

> Actually I think the racism element is a red herring. Our country is overflowing,

'Overflowing'? Really? Is it because of the 'flood' of immigrants?

The UK is #51 is the list of population density:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_population_density

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 18:13:54

Callisto-

> Of course there will be friction and growing xenophobia and racism when you have a situation where everyone is skint, noone can afford to buy a house, jobs are impossible to come by, there is big problem with over-population and anyone from the EU can come here whether they bring anything economically or not. We are continually bailing out other countries and our own is in shit order. People are scared and angry. Something will give eventually, Cameron is trying to head that off.

Your problems are not due to immigrants or 'overpopulation'. Non-EU immigrants can't claim benefits for six months and EU immigrants are twice less likely to claim benefits than UK nationals.

Your population density is #51 in the world - a bit crowded, but not drastically so. There are many prosperous and successful nations with far higher density of people per area.

What's happening is that after 30 years of neo-liberalism, the shit is finally hitting the fan, and after the financial crisis caused by the casino gamblers, the population (everywhere in the EU, not just the UK) are expected to pay the price.

Blaming immigrants, the poor, the jobless, the benefits claimants - this is a red herring. It's a distraction. The government wants people to turn inwards and fight each other rather than hold the real culprits to account. Don't fall for it.

Orphadeus, I remember reading that study when it came out. There is one important caveat on the front page that the press at the time (save Channel 4's Fact Check) completely missed:

^In the absence of nationality markers on the benefit computer systems, the statistics presented in this adhoc analysis provide estimates of the number of DWP working age benefit claimants as at February 2011, within Great Britain, who at the time they registered for a NINo were non-UK nationals.

The statistics take no account of non-UK nationals who have subsequently been granted British citizenship. For the purposes of these statistics, they are shown as having been non- UK nationals at the time of NINo registration.^

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/adhoc_analysis/2012/nat_nino_regs.pdf

The stats in that report don't track visa status at the time of claims being filed, which would indicate whether people on temporary visas were illegally claiming benefits. It only tracks what nationality you had when you signed up for an NI card, which you are allowed to do on some temporary visas, such as a student visa (me in 2007) or spouse visa.

The thing is, in order for non-EU born residents to access benefits, you need to become either a permanent resident or a citizen. In order to become a permanent resident (which you are required to be, before one can become a citizen), you need to have been here for at least two years - and that was only if you married a British citizen under the old system. Everyone who hasn't married in has had to work and pay tax and NI for several more years than that.

Which begs the question, why isn't the government tracking visa status at the point of a claim being filed?

Non-EU immigrants can't claim benefits for six months

Which ones? I've been here since Sept 2006 and have never been allowed to claim benefits. Unless you are talking about the NHS? I can draw down SMP, but that's a contributory benefit - something I will get because I have worked for several years and paid into the system (think so, anyway).

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 18:19:22

The truth about migrants and benefits

Why let the facts get in the way of a good bit of immigrant-bashing? David Cameron certainly hasn’t. His speech today either highlights a woeful lack of knowledge of existing government policy or is deliberately misleading in order to whip up hysteria and community tensions. I’ll let you guess which.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research recently produced a report evidencing the net benefit European Economic Area migration has had to Treasury coffers. The Department for Work and Pensions’ own figures show that migrants make up 13 per cent of the UK’s workforce, but only seven per cent of out-of-work benefit claimants – less than the indigenous population. EEA migrants are 60 per cent less likely than British citizens to claim state benefits and are 58 per cent less likely to live in social housing. Yet all we hear from Cameron and co is that hordes of people are coming here from eastern Europe and elsewhere to scrounge off the state, get a free house and access free healthcare.

In his latest speech, Cameron promises reform in these three areas. But is it actually the case that we already have robust policies that make a lie of Cameron’s claims? Let’s look at each in turn:

Access to benefits

In his speech Cameron will say, ‘We’re going to give migrants from the European Economic Area a very clear message. Just like British citizens, there is no absolute right to unemployment benefit.’ Do EEA migrants currently enjoy some special right? No.

Inactive EEA nationals – ie those out of work and not seeking employment – cannot access income-related benefits in the UK. Contributory benefits can only be accessed if the necessary contributions and other conditions are met. Only EEA nationals with ‘worker status’ – in work or demonstrably seeking employment – can access in-work benefits such as housing benefit, council tax benefit and tax credits. Child benefit, child tax credit, state pension credit and employment support allowance for EEA nationals all depend on national insurance contributions and passing a ‘right to reside’ test, introduced by Labour in 2004.

As for the unemployed, EU law only grants access to unemployment benefits on the same basis as nationals of the country in question. So migrants coming here from EEA countries have the same rights and have to go through the same processes as a UK citizen wanting to apply for jobseeker’s allowance. EU citizens seeking work can claim JSA for up to six months and must undergo the same requirements as a UK jobseeker – signing a Jobcentre contract, attending interviews and so on. Unemployed EU citizens cannot claim income support, employment support allowance or the state pension credit.

Access to social housing

Cameron will promise to impose an expectation on councils to introduce a local residency test in determining who should qualify for social housing. Does the current system give some special right to immigrants? No.

Nobody automatically qualifies for social housing – not even born-and-bred Brits. Eligibility for social housing is determined by local authorities, and already includes criteria on having a link to the area – with many authorities giving additional points if this is met. Like everyone else, EEA migrants have to go through a thorough application process.

Access to healthcare

We’re told that ‘health tourism’ is a serious problem that is draining resources from the NHS and Cameron will pledge a crackdown. Can migrants come here from the EU and all over the world and access free healthcare? No.

Rules on who is eligible for free comprehensive NHS care are decided by the UK government, not the EU. In addition to UK citizens, others with access include overseas workers and students and citizens from countries with whom we have a reciprocal healthcare agreement. With the exception of emergency treatment by a GP or at A&E, overseas visitors are charged for all inpatient and outpatient hospital care. Immigration rules say that if someone owes more than £1,000 in NHS charges they will be refused a visa to enter the UK.

I welcome the newfound interest of politicians to start talking about immigration. But let’s make sure they have the facts straight if we’re to have an open and honest debate about the issue.

—————————————————————————————

Kevin Peel is a councillor on Manchester city council and tweets @kevpeel

www.progressonline.org.uk/2013/03/25/the-truth-about-migrants-and-benefits/

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 18:22:03

The thing is, in order for non-EU born residents to access benefits, you need to become either a permanent resident or a citizen.

Not true.
I am a non EU national.
I was allocated my NI number on my 16th Birthday - just like an English kid.
I was allocated my NHS number when I first went to the dentist in this country.
I have claimed the dole and housing benefit.
I do not have a visa of any shape or kind.
I have a manky ILR stamp in my passport - undated, unrecorded on any computer by the UKBA.

pedrohedges Mon 25-Mar-13 18:28:14

I live in a smallish village with a vast amount of eu immigrants. 5 years ago i new everyone and the village had a real sense of community. Now i can't understand my new neighbours, nevermind knowing them.
The doctors surgery and school is bursting at the seams too.
I can say this on here but if i said it in RL i would be scared of being called a racist.
The country is changing and it scares me how fast it's happening.
Sorry if i offend anyone, its not my intention.

Callisto Mon 25-Mar-13 18:32:50

The problems are due to over-population. Your figures take the entire UK into account: Scotland has very low pop density because lots of it is uninhabitable, the South, where these problems are, is experiencing a serious population problem. You just have to look at house prices to see that. Our infrastructure is at breaking point, we will struggle to generate enough power for the current population in a few years time but hey, that's fine because theres plenty of room to squeeze more people in. hmm

Owllady Mon 25-Mar-13 18:34:25

more cynically I think he wants the ukip voters back
haven't read thread

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 18:34:31

pedro
why are they there?
are you agricultural in Lincolnshire by any chance?
just that the new immigrants congregate where the jobs that English people do not want are concentrated.
Have you spoken to them and asked that what work they do in the UK and what work they did back home?
You might be surprised.

The cleaner at my gym turned out to have an MBA and when her English was good enough got a job in the City.

Callisto Mon 25-Mar-13 18:36:18

Ttosca - answering DC's views with the views of an opposing politician? And you expect us to take his/your word for it?

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 18:36:36

Callisto makes a good point. The SE if very full, GP's cannot cope, schools cannot fit pupils in, however Scotland for example is very different. However, what are we suggesting? Put all the overspill into Scotland??

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 18:36:41

Callisto
There are 500,000 empty homes in the UK and 500,000 second homes.
There are also plots with planning permission ready to start building 400,000
If taxes were properly charged on vacant properties and land, those houses would be made available to those who need and the housing shortage would vanish.

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 18:39:16

Callisto-

> The problems are due to over-population.

No, they're really not.

> Your figures take the entire UK into account: Scotland has very low pop density because lots of it is uninhabitable, the South, where these problems are, is experiencing a serious population problem. You just have to look at house prices to see that.

It's true that it's more densely population in the south, so what? The solution isn't to kick out immigrants, the solution is to do things like improve the rail network and build commercial centres which are outside of London.

And once again, we don't have an 'overpopulation problem', we have a housing shortage.

> Our infrastructure is at breaking point, we will struggle to generate enough power for the current population in a few years time but hey, that's fine because theres plenty of room to squeeze more people in.

Our infrastructure needs more investment. Japan has a much, much higher population density than the UK but also has much better infrastructure. It isn't a 'breaking point'; it functions much more efficiently and cheaply than the UK.

Once again people are blaming immigrants and people for a lack of investment in housing and infrastructure.

pedrohedges Mon 25-Mar-13 18:41:19

@ Talkin. This will probably out me but it's for a huge factory that opened near my house around 5 years ago. They promised to take on locals, which they did temporary then gradually got rid of the English. Now it's mainly only Mainland europeans. This has caused outrage locally, lots of families have moved on looking for work. This factory only takes on mainland europeans, this is fact not fiction.
My own father was made redundant, then amazingly his job was re-advertised ( under different name obv) at a cheaper rate.
My village is destroyed.

alemci Mon 25-Mar-13 18:41:55

I think we really need to sort out who is already here. What about all the unemployed graduates and Neets. People are having to work longer to afford their pensions and not retiring as early. Jobs are harder to come by.

Housing is a big problem. Why do we need the worry of 2 more fairly poor countries being allowed to come here regardless of whether they need to claim benefits. what about all the extra cars on the roads, resources needed, school places, gas and electricity, water and sewerage, paying out child benefit which seems to be given out regardless of contributions to the exchequer. How is it benefiting the UK?

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 18:42:00

Callisto-

> Ttosca - answering DC's views with the views of an opposing politician?

Huh? An opposing politician? This isn't about party politics. I don't even know what political party the author of that article belongs to.

Those figures come from the DWP. You can check them yourself if you like. I've also seen them reproduced elsewhere. The image I posted came from the BBC, which basically says the same thing.

Callisto Mon 25-Mar-13 18:42:57

The empty homes are empty because noone wants to live there, because there are no jobs to be had in these areas. You can build all the rail links you like but people won't go and live somewhere there is no work. Japan is a shite example btw.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 18:43:00

pedro
OK, I know where you mean and I believe the UKBA are watching it like a hawk.
But in the mean time, talk to them. Many will be people like you, who would much rather not leave their villages depopulated and dying.

alemci Mon 25-Mar-13 18:43:15

Tosca isn't Japan very overcrowded with people crammed in small houses. Don't want the UK to become like that.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 18:43:25

callisto
Belgravia?

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 18:43:37

> Housing is a big problem. Why do we need the worry of 2 more fairly poor countries being allowed to come here regardless of whether they need to claim benefits. what about all the extra cars on the roads, resources needed, school places, gas and electricity, water and sewerage, paying out child benefit which seems to be given out regardless of contributions to the exchequer. How is it benefiting the UK?

Sigh

Once again, immigrants ARE LESS LIKELY than UK nationals to claim benefits.

Furthermore, immigration benefits the UK. It benefits the UK, not just economically, but socially and culturally as well.

London is a world-class city because it is full of people from all over the world, not despite of that fact.

thanksamillion Mon 25-Mar-13 18:45:09

I agree with previous posters who have said that it is attractive for Romanians to leave seeking work elsewhere due to poor living conditions/low wages etc, however, over here the general consensus seems to be that most people who wanted to leave to work have already done so.

Also the UK isn't top of most people's lists of where to go. Many many more Romanians are in Italy which is a much more popular destination.

Talk of the UK being flooded with new immigrants when the restrictions are lifted are IMHO very overstated and bordering on scaremongering.

pedrohedges Mon 25-Mar-13 18:45:14

@Talkin. My polish neighbour was a p.e teacher back home, she's works in burgerking over here. Crazy but she loves it and it feeds her family.

Callisto Mon 25-Mar-13 18:46:23

You quoted Kevin Peel.

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 18:46:54

*Callisto and alemci*-

Look at the list.

Less population dense nations include: Israel, Belgium, The Netherlands, Singapore and Monaco.

It is only slightly more population dense than Germany - which, btw, has the strongest economy in europe, less wealth inequality, better infrastructure, and lower unemployment.

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 18:49:03

Callisto-

> You quoted Kevin Peel.

Who cares?! What are you worried about, that he's from the opposing team?

I don't even know who Kevin Peel is, and the figures are from the DWP.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 18:50:39

@Talkinpeace: okay, I am referring to the "public funds", like child benefit, council houses, tax credits, etc. These are not available to me, or to my British citizen husband. Perhaps it was different several years ago? I wasn't issued an NI number on my 16th (was in America at the time, and moving hadn't occurred to me). Won't be handed ILR either - my Scottish husband and I both have to prove we don't claim anything.

I have always been able to access the NHS, but I first came over here as an international student, paying several times what a Scottish or European student paid for her course, and therefore helped support Glasgow Uni. ;) And seven months into that course, I got a job and started to pay tax and NI. At this point, I might well have paid more into the system than a Scottish friend of mine who had three children too quickly after finishing her degree, and opted to stay home with them rather than get her career off the ground.

A lot of the anti-immigration talk does descend into racism. Agreed about that.

Callisto Mon 25-Mar-13 18:52:12

I don't care, look at your own posts.

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 18:53:06

> I don't care, look at your own posts.

What does this even mean?

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 25-Mar-13 18:54:24

These threads are so depressing. People seem to be convinced that the problem is immigration and won't be happy until we're kicking everyone not suitably Anglo-Saxon out of the country.

But they're not being racist. hmm

alemci Mon 25-Mar-13 18:56:00

Tosca we are much smaller than Germany and an Island. I am a bit tired of the social and cultural argument. Do we really need any more people in London and the South East? Can't we just stop for 10 years' and let things settle down. What about all the future children who will be born.

You haven't really commented on my remarks about resources. I know some newcomers are a real asset and my grandparents were immigrants

Callisto Mon 25-Mar-13 18:58:40

Jesus Ttosca - you cut and paste a great big article or whatever, quoting Kevin Peel. I've no idea where you got it from and I don't much care. We have opposing viewpoints that won't change no matter how many facts we chuck at each other so I'm out of here.

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 19:01:55

alemci-

Population density is a measure of population/area. That means the number of people PER square meters. So population density is comparable between the UK and Germany.

The social and cultural argument is valid. It may make you feel uncomfortable to have so many non UK-nationals here, but that doesn't mean they don't greatly contribute to the nation.

The point about resources is that the UK badly needs investment in infrastructure. Even if immigration stopped completely, UK infrastructure would still be a shambles. The rest of europe is decades ahead in the quality of its rail infrastructure, for example. And we definitely need more affordable houses built.

Anyway, this thread is pissing me off, so I'm going to leave for now before my blood boils over.

Sick of living on Daily Mail island.

pointythings Mon 25-Mar-13 19:15:50

I'm another of those EU immigrants. I've been here almost 16 years, have always paid tax and never claimed anything beyond using the NHS and state education for my children. I've never felt more unwelcome than I do now, but I have put down roots here. I will naturalise if the UK leaves the EU, but until then I just refuse to be gouged by the Home Office for the privilege.

Callisto you are talking bollocks about population density - my native Holland has a population density considerably higher than that of the UK.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 19:21:01

Probablyjustgas
I get child benefit. And my surname on all official documents is not the same as my husband's or my children.
If only the politicians actually had a clue!

alemci
If population density was the be all and end all then nobody would ever want to move to Singapore, Hong Kong or Monaco - but they keep on going.

The really obvious foreigners in central London are the overly ostentatious Arabs and Russians - who have been buying up the capital (and taking homes out of use) for over 40 years.
And nothing this Government proposes will lay a finger on them and their untaxed billions.

AND
I'm still waiting for a guess as to how many of us ILR people are here that Cameroons daft ideas will do nothing about

lemonmuffin Mon 25-Mar-13 19:21:44

Here we go.

Ttosca on the thread - forget any chance of pard

Mumsyblouse Mon 25-Mar-13 19:28:26

The funniest thing on this not very funny thread is when someone said they'll all come here for the free education. Most Eastern European countries have pretty good free education systems, indeed that in some ways is their problem, they have a highly educated workforce but a poor economy in which their skills are highly rewarded elsewhere. Bulgaria's literacy rate is 98.4%, ours is 99%. Not all that different than us, really.

niceguy2 Mon 25-Mar-13 19:32:11

The scary thing about this whole thread is that Ttosca and I for once are in agreement.

I don't think there has ever been anything we have seen eye to eye on. It's actually quite worrisome. I shall have to go and have a lie down. Either that or someone's hacked his/her account......

pointythings Mon 25-Mar-13 19:35:41

Naaah, niceguy. You and I have not always seen eye to eye either, but you are agreeing with ttosca here because you are what your name implies. smile

Right, but you have ILR. Permanent residents are allowed to draw down benefits like child benefit, there's nothing illegal or dodgy about that. Given how long most folks have to live here to get ILR in the first place (maybe you are an exception?) I don't think that's such a bad thing. When I get ILR and, say, claim child benefit for a firstborn child, it will not be as if I rocked up to Scotland yesterday and said, "Cheque, please." I will have been living, working and contributing to public purse and economy for over 7 years.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 19:40:58

probably
But I have never EVER shown anybody in the UK my ILR.
I was given mine three years after I arrived.
I started paying tax 16 years after that.
(arrived as a kid, parents not British)
No employer or any government agency - other than immigration control - has ever asked to see it. Not even the register office when I got married.

And as I, like you, got my Social Security number at birth, have no copies of my birth certificate.

znaika Mon 25-Mar-13 19:51:12

They'll come for the education all right, of course they will. They value it very highly. They want their kids to speak English of course- gives them a massive advantage at home and in the global economy. UK education is great compared to what is in Eastern Europe at the moment, although many systems are going through radical changes. Imagine an education system formed in the communist era when you had to learn official propaganda and doctrine and there was no room for critical thought. Most teachers either were teaching under such a system of themselves studied under such a system, and they do not have the same freedom to question as in the UK. Only 20 years down the line are changes being made to such a system. Results are also openly manipulated. If your child has special needs or even the mildest learning difficulties- forget it there is no provision.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 19:53:58

znaika
TBH as Polish kids round here generally have taxpaying parents who work hard and make them work hard, they are a positive addition to the schools.

znaika Mon 25-Mar-13 19:58:04

I am eastern european. Ihave no problem with them coming- I came!!! I just know in advance from these threads that people will underestimate the pull factors and deny that there are plenty of prople who want to come. many people wnt to go the uk - that is all!

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 20:04:46

grin

niceguy2 Mon 25-Mar-13 20:05:59

(Education)...They value it very highly.

Yes indeed. My fiancee shares my same passion for getting a good education. I was sick of fighting with my last ex who seemed to think education wasn't important because she did OK. Well yes....i was the breadwinner!

Again outside of the UK people are generally much more pro-education because they see it as the best route to escape crushing poverty and a path to a successful life.

flatpackhamster Mon 25-Mar-13 20:07:13

ttosca

Population density is a measure of population/area. That means the number of people PER square meters. So population density is comparable between the UK and Germany.

However the comparison between the UK and Germany has little value because migrants don't distribute themselves evenly across the UK. 90% of all migrants who arrived since 2001 stayed in South-East England. 70% stayed in London.

The social and cultural argument is valid. It may make you feel uncomfortable to have so many non UK-nationals here, but that doesn't mean they don't greatly contribute to the nation.

Is that an argument to allow more people in ?

The point about resources is that the UK badly needs investment in infrastructure. Even if immigration stopped completely, UK infrastructure would still be a shambles. The rest of europe is decades ahead in the quality of its rail infrastructure, for example. And we definitely need more affordable houses built.

None of those are arguments in favour of keeping immigration as it stands. It's like the argument which says we shouldn't block Romanian and Bulgarian migrants coming here because they're already here working illegally.

Anyway, this thread is pissing me off, so I'm going to leave for now before my blood boils over.

Sick of living on Daily Mail island.

Well nobody's stopping you leaping on a plane to Cuba and living in a Socialist Paradise. Perhaps you can take some of the other dreadful trots with you.

Talkin Okay, fair enough. I think our experiences have just been completely different. My employer and NHS surgery have both asked for proof of my permission to stay. So did the city registrar's office. Must vary depending on location. I wasn't kidding about the runaround I got wrt getting an NI number in Glasgow - that was frustrating. And it really is a condition of my ILR application that my husband cannot draw down public funds, despite being a citizen - at least, it was last I checked. I suppose he could up and get them anyway, and I could lie about it, but I've had a visa application rejected before, on a technicality, and had to spend a lot of money re-applying. They are very expensive if you have to pay for them.

alemci Mon 25-Mar-13 20:12:45

well said Flat Pack. That is what I was trying to get at. Please lets deal with who is here now first. Get them housed and employed then see if we need any more people.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 20:25:58

Probably
I suspect cases like mine are why they clamped down on people like you wink

Alemci
And who decides if we "need any more"
- the farmers who cannot get English people to pick their veg
- the NHS who cannot find English people to swab the toilets
- the schools who cannot recruit enough UK teachers willing to live in shared bedsits to work in London schools
- the engineering companies who cannot find the skills they need in this country

or a bunch of knee jerk Daily Mail journalists who will then moan that hospitals are dirty and veg not picked?

bulletproofgerbil Mon 25-Mar-13 21:02:23

Was going to stick my two-penneth in but am wondering if there's any reason that OP hasn't been back on this thread after starting it?

Chipstick10 Mon 25-Mar-13 21:08:08

It's very easy to label someone a racist just because they are heartily sick of not being able to discuss immigration for fear of being labeled a racist. Then media wheel out vicars and we are told we are using dangerous language and are not being charitable. Where does it end? My best friend is awaiting rehousing and the Kurds next door to her have already been rehomed. She is very bitter and so am I.

PhylisStein Mon 25-Mar-13 21:15:22

The rules for European economic migrants with regard to healthcare, housing and other benefits such as JSA are IDENTICAL to those for British born long term residents. Anything else would be illegal and Cameron would be up in front of European court pdq if he treated anyone unfairly. The 'measures' announced are the same as are already in place for all of us. This is only hot air and spin - nothing new or different has changed at all today.

WidowWadman Mon 25-Mar-13 21:22:06

phylis well, yes. He hasn't announced anything which actually is different to the existing policies. It's the rhetoric, that's the problem.

That might be just me, although there's a couple more posters on this thread, who said they feel similar - there is a change, and a feeling of not being welcome, which is growing.

His speech, as well as the talk from leaders of all other parties, too, is full of anti-immigration cliches, and panders to xenophobes.

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 21:24:43

Phylis - and I think that is the issue. Who is paying for the healthcare, housing, education of people who have just arrived. If you have been waiting on a council house waiting list for years will you feel happy that you are moving further down the list as more and more people become a priority?

And as for people who say that Romania has a free education system - have they been there and seen what it is like? Really - is it just like ours......

PhylisStein Mon 25-Mar-13 21:26:58

I bet there aren't queues for tickets to Romania because there schools are so fab.

PhylisStein Mon 25-Mar-13 21:29:20

The only options if you want to change the rules are:
1. Make the EU reverse its migration policy
2. Leave the EU

On the other hand we could shut the door firmly to non-EU immigrants but we have reciprocal arrangements with many of them too!

maisiejoe123 Mon 25-Mar-13 21:31:13

We live near an area that has had huge immigration issues and they havent been tackled well. We are a very tolerant nation who bend over backwards to help everyone. Problem is that not everyone wants to help back.

There are some stats somewhere I am sure (and lots on this post are using stats!) saying that out of the 60,000 Romanians currently in the UK officially -there is a large % that have been arrested for minor and major crimes. Or have I got that all wrong....

If the EU borders are opening then we need to state that if you are convicted of a crime (whatever that is) you are immediately deported back to the country of orgin and not allowed to return. And that should be a rule across the whole of the EU. If I lived in Italy and I was convicted of a crime - out I go...

I cannot believe some would believe it is Ok to come to this country, committ a crime and then be allowed to stay here...

NishiNoUsagi Mon 25-Mar-13 21:51:34

Orphadeus "As 11% of the population in the UK was born abroad, it would appear someone is lying."

Probably no-one's lying. My son was born overseas, and he's British. Doubt he's the only case. Just as ethnicity=/=nationality, "born outside Britain" can still be British (in my son's case, as born to a British mother.) Does that help?

maisiejoe123 "Surely - a homeless family landing at Heathrow from say Bulgaria will go to the top of the housing ladder whether that be a hostel or something similar. They are liternally homeless or will they be turned away because they have no way of supporting themselves."

As per my previous post, housing is decided on a points system. You don't get any points for being a refugee/foreign/immigrant. At all. They would not go to the top of a housing ladder. They probably would go to a hostel, whereas a British person on the waiting list might not, as they would prefer to stay, for eg in an overcrowded family home or other less than ideal situation, than go to a hostel which might be a bit rundown, not comfortable to live or cramped. They at least (in that situation) have that choice. The homeless family from Bulgaria wouldn't.

Local to me, there was a Romanian family (yes, family, with young children) living in a local park, in a tent, in the middle of winter. Some fucking housing ladder that is sad

NishiNoUsagi Mon 25-Mar-13 21:56:25

PhylisStein Your post at Mon 25-Mar-13 21:15:22 - Thank god! I was starting to wonder if I was the only person who'd noticed this!! <bundles Phylis into umumsnetty hug>

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 22:02:34

Let me just add my two pennies worth. I'm not an immigrant in the UK, although I had been thinking about going there for a couple of years, but that was before the crisis. I live in the Czech Republic and want to give you a different perspective, seeing it as a person from this Eastern Eurepean country.

In 1990's Czech people were drunk with freedom and possibilities and many of them wished to go abroad to the afore forbidden West to work and learn the language. However, it was impossible to do it legally. The only legal possibility was to come as au pairs. Therefore many people who wanted to work, did the worst kind of jobs because they were the only jobs they could get illegally. Law graduates worked as au pairs and engineers worked as cleaners because even though the work was something they would have never done at home, it paid many times more than their professional jobs back home. They were risking deportation etc.
During the same period of time, loads of illegal immigrants from Russia, Ucraine and other countries came to our country for a change. And they still do come to do the same kind of jobs the Czech used to do or still do in the UK. So it is in fact a kind of a vicious circle and we are dealing with many similar problems like any other EU country, but on a smaller scale than the UK, of course.

However, many of the Czech work-immigrants came back home later or they became successful in their profession (especially in construction) and stayed in the UK. Only a few stayed for good because they got married or have children with a UK citizen and therefore decided to make the UK their new home. BTW. NHS is one of the factors why they keep coming back. Many Czechs living in the UK greatly complain about it and prefer the Czech Health system. To give you an example, pregnant women in the CZ routinely have several ultrasound scans during their pregnancy and several other tests like diabetes, genetic disease scans etc. Whereas this is virtually non-existent in the UK, as you might probably confirm. (I'm not 100% sure, correct me, if I'm wrong.)

Finally, in 2007 we were allowed to come to work without any restrictions. This didn't make all the Czechs suddenly change their mind, pack up and move to the UK. Not all people (now I mean it in general for all countries and people) are actually able to move for work because most people are very much attached to their place of birth and their families and friends at home. So in 2007, it only made things easier, more transparent and legal. Besides, as someone above mentioned, most of the people who wanted to have foreign work or study experience or move there because they simply like the country are already there and there was no disastrous wave of Czech, Polish etc. immigrants in 2007 as the media in the UK had believed just like now.

In my opinion, these anti-immigrant feelings are caused by the economic crisis that Europe is still undergoing and the inability of governments in the EU to do something about it. Unemployment is rising everywhere and people have to watch their budgets more carefully than they used to do. The immigrants that were originally so useful are suddenly seen as thieves of jobs that no one wanted to do ten years ago. In my country, people haven't started to blame the immigrants yet, it's the unemployed now, but I'm sure it's going to be the same as in the UK sooner or later because immigrants keep coming and jobs are scarcer and scarcer.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 22:03:30

I'd seen it.
The housing system is STRICTLY points. Generally on councils' websites : easy to check the rules.
BUT
there is no housing shortage - there are just hundreds of thousands of empty homes because offshore investors save money by keeping properties empty.

MiniTheMinx Mon 25-Mar-13 22:05:00

"What's happening is that after 30 years of neo-liberalism, the shit is finally hitting the fan

Blaming immigrants, the poor, the jobless, the benefits claimants - this is a red herring. It's a distraction. The government wants people to turn inwards and fight each other rather than hold the real culprits to account. Don't fall for it"

^ This, YY

"However the comparison between the UK and Germany has little value because migrants don't distribute themselves evenly across the UK. 90% of all migrants who arrived since 2001 stayed in South-East England. 70% stayed in London"

FlatPack, why do they not distribute themselves across the UK?

because we have a London centric economy with something like 58% of GDP coming from the south east. Why is that?

Getting back to the point about neo-liberalism, it wasn't labour that opened the flood gates, beats me why they feel the need to apologise. It was Thatcher and the reason came down to her obsession with weakening the power of workers. More workers arriving from abroad and a growing number of casualties from her campaign of terror against UK industries did just that.

What makes me so sick when I hear Scameron, is the knowledge that "Brits" are encouraged towards nationalism through a steady stream of propaganda whilst he and his class care not a jot for the nation. They are waging a class war against the poor. They and their class have class solidarity whilst the rest of us fight over the scraps and turn on our fellow workers/ordinary working people.

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 22:07:07

maisiejoe123,

are you sure they are Romanians and not Romanian gypsies? Because that's a different group of people altogether. I guess I might be called racist now, but this ethnicity is the major source of petty crime and recipients of dole and child allowances all over Eastern Europe. Unfortunatelly, they just go where they get more for doing nothing and the social systems in the EU allow this abuse and waste of funds.

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 22:12:24

MiniTheMinx

I heartily agree. It's a good description of what is happening all over Europe, though, not only the UK.

sittinginthesun Mon 25-Mar-13 22:19:24

What Mini said.

MiniTheMinx Mon 25-Mar-13 22:20:20

The Romanian Gypsies are perhaps the last of all ethnicities to be quite so actively discriminated against. sad

"Gypsies, or Roma, enjoyed a degree of protection under communist rule in Eastern Europe. But in recent years, Gypsies have become targets of police brutality and right-wing extremism. They have been beaten to death in Slovakia and set on fire in the Czech Republic.

"The degree of prejudice against the Roma is incredible," said Dimitrina Petrova, director of the European Roman Rights Center, which represents an estimated three million to six million Gypsies living on the continent. "There's been a disturbing rise in civilian violence against Roma in Eastern Europe"

articles.philly.com/2000-07-05/news/25608874_1_gypsies-dimitrina-petrova-eastern-europe

Certain EE countries should never have been granted EU membership because of their record on human rights.......but of course Roma are not fashionable cause so they can be overlooked.

Chipstick10 Mon 25-Mar-13 22:22:22

Anytime anyone from any party tries to ta kle immigration they are accused of scaremongering or being racist. The fact is most governments hands are tied.

MiniTheMinx Mon 25-Mar-13 22:25:34

If anyone reads the above.......please take note "Right wing extremism" nationalism leads to abuse and that leads to defection and escape, where would we have these people run. Under socialism the situation was only slightly better for the Roma but they did receive some state help and the drive was towards assimilation rather than outright torture and marginalisation.

I agree with everyone who says the problem is economic not just political.

When the riots start as I am sure they will and more people are homeless and more families are feeding from the foodbank........I hope we all know where the blame lies and it isn't with working class people whatever the nationality.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 22:27:13

"tackle immigration"
I'm yet to understand why it needs to be tackled

- there is no housing shortage that could not be eradicated in months with a land tax
- there is only a shortage of jobs that English people (molly coddled with benefits) think they are entitled to
- there is no shortage of manual jobs, generally oud doors
- there is a shortage of people to work in the NHS, schools and offices

MOH100 Mon 25-Mar-13 22:28:51

Do you know which nationality are the biggest unauthorised users of the NHS, or health tourists as the tabloids would call them? People from the USA. They come over here for the operations they can't afford at home. Seemingly the cost of European immigrants is a drop in the ocean compared with what Americans cost the NHS.

Talkinpeace Mon 25-Mar-13 22:30:51

Moh
do you have a link for that - as the NHS bod on the Radio 4 news today said that they do not have the data ....

I know some Americans come here for some care, but generally covered by their travel insurance

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 22:34:43

MiniTheMinx

I guarantee you that you would change your mind at once have you had direct experience with them as most people in Eastern Europe have sad I pity their kids because their families don't support or even sabotage their education, thus robbing them of their only chance to break the circle of poverty and crime.

The protection of Gypsies during the Communist rule consisted in the genaral obligation to work (everyone had to work or you went to jail) which gave them certain rules to live by and respect by the majority. However, when we achieved freedom from Communist rule, their was no more obligation to work, they got money from the social system for free and they learned very quickly to use it and abuse it.

Racist attacks are always terrible and there's no excuse for them, but it's imho the result of unresolved crime problems withing the Gypsy community. No one wants to be regularly robbed by their neighbours who laugh into their faces, if they call the police.

There will always be people that abuse social systems and it doesn't matter if they are English, Gypsy or Czech. Europe can't afford to waste so much money that bring no positive effect for society anymore. We have to be simply more careful to whom and on what conditions we give.

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 22:38:39

MiniTheMinx

Let me add that my country got under the rule of Communism thanks to betrayal of the UK and France before the WWII. And you seem to think to have the right to decide who belongs to Europe and who is unworthy unemancipated Eastern European? Shame on you. Read your history.

alemci Mon 25-Mar-13 22:42:00

Talking Peace

I take your point but perhaps the unemployed British should have been made to take the jobs you outlined instead of being able to remain on benefits. Also some British do the jobs you quoted anyway.

Shouldn't the voters decide. Obviously Cameron is at last listening. Most people I know are fed up with the situation. People mutter in corners about it. I live in Greater London and it has changed alot in the last 20 years'.

Not every cleaner is from abroad for example

Also Upthread I am sure someone mentioned that their dad had been made redundant and someone else from abroad was employed in his place.

MiniTheMinx Mon 25-Mar-13 22:48:07

My Great Granny was Roma and my Great Grandfather was Jewish both fled eastern Europe under right wing governance. I have a fair idea of the difficulties faced. What I do know is that under socialism things improved.

In terms of education, I have read that Bulgarian families remove their children from local schools when the Roma children start there. There is outright hostility and discrimination towards them. And I would challenge the notion of welfare benefits, some of these families are living in slum conditions barely habitable.

MiniTheMinx Mon 25-Mar-13 22:51:43

RalucaV, I am in favour of socialism. The Czechs were over run with Nazi sympathisers long before the war, they opened the door to Hitler and welcomed him in.

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 22:59:15

MiniTheMinx

I can't speak of Bulgaria and Romania, they are both much poorer countries than the CZ, so I imagine the Roma are also much poorer than in my country. However, here it is actually difficult to persuade Roma families that their children should go to school and study. They fully rely on allowance and petty crime and in fact hinder their children's education, not the other way around as some international organizations try to paint it. Really, if you haven't seen this and experienced it first hand, it is difficult to judge this situation based only on reports in newspapers or hearsay. It is a complex problem because without education they will not get anywhere and the social problems will only get worse.

I had several Roma schoolmates and several Roma pupils and their greatest problem was to actually come to school and do any school work at all. Their families simply don't support them and sometimes don't even let them. Nowadays, the jobs are scarce even for university educated people in the CZ, so you can imagine that uneducated Roma can hardly get any jobs at all. And the problem gets more and more complicated like this.

My father's family actually came from Romania, so I know the level of xenophobia here and if you work and don't make money by stealing, it's non-existent. And my dad looks like a typical gypsy, although he isn't.

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 23:03:06

MiniTheMinx

Really, read your history. That were no Czechs, but ethnic Germans within Czechoslovakia, who welcomed Hitler, where did you get this, for godssake?

I'm not exactly a socialist, I'm somewhere in the middle (governments should do their best so that all people, rich, poor, old, young, black, white or gay, within a country or region are happy). That's my political stance.

MiniTheMinx Mon 25-Mar-13 23:08:53

I think part of the problem is the Roma have traditionally been mobile and even their stories and poems in their own language were never written down. Their traditional trades are no longer available to them and they can not be tolerated to be on the move, even if there was a reason to move. There is no work to move for!

I agree it is very complex and I am certainly not laying the blame on individuals but I very much feel that nationalism and stoking up racism is something the right wing do very well and in an economic crisis (is it still a crisis? depression? ) so easy for that to spill over into outright hostility even at the national level. Some commentators are likening the social and political rumblings to that of the period leading up to WW2.

ttosca Mon 25-Mar-13 23:13:10

> What makes me so sick when I hear Scameron, is the knowledge that "Brits" are encouraged towards nationalism through a steady stream of propaganda whilst he and his class care not a jot for the nation. They are waging a class war against the poor. They and their class have class solidarity whilst the rest of us fight over the scraps and turn on our fellow workers/ordinary working people.

Well said, Mini.

MsAverage Mon 25-Mar-13 23:16:12

^The thing is, in order for non-EU born residents to access benefits, you need to become either a permanent resident or a citizen.

Not true.
I am a non EU national.
[...]
I do not have a visa of any shape or kind.
I have a manky ILR stamp in my passport - undated, unrecorded on any computer by the UKBA.^

If we are talking about the current non-EU migration rules, I am sorry to note that it is your data which is not true, Talkingpeace.

To get an ILR, one do need visas in all their shapes and forms - family member (the shortest way, 2 years to ILR), or PBS (5+ years) or asylum seeker (depends). Even foreign-born children have to get visas and live with their parents complying to visa rules to get an ILR.

MiniTheMinx Mon 25-Mar-13 23:16:25

The Germans spent many months on propaganda in CZ, I agree no ordinary CZs wanted Hitler. As I remember from my reading there were two factions. The Nazi faction won out, they had Germans pouring in stirring things up in the streets. I have read C20th History. Sometimes I wonder whether we are still struggling with the after effects or unresolved issues from WW2. This week the Russians offer Cyprus a life line Merkel says no way. The Bretton woods agreement could fall under the strain of this economic crisis and of course there are neo-cons in the states who are just itching to start another war. Great Huh.

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 23:17:19

MiniTheMinx

the Roma issue has been taboo to discuss for 20 years for fear of the EU labelling us as racist (as you greatly illustrate yourself) and therefore no improvement could have been done. No politician here had the courage to do that, so the problem has been growing and now after most parts of Eastern Europe entered Schengen, the West gets to see the realities of that problem. However, we were not allowed to even speak of a Roma problem for a long time, so don't expect us to solve it now for you. Maybe this will alert Brussels and something will finally happen to improve the situation for the Roma and the Eastern Europeans alike.

I agree about escalating this inter-class and inter-ethnic hate on purpuse to hide the real cause. As I said, we've had a fair share of it too, but in our case the target is the unemployed.

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 23:22:29

MiniTheMinx

you remember wrong regarding that history. Look up Munich Agreement. Czechs were never fascists, nor welcomed Hitler. You probably mix it up with Hungary. Many Czech soldiers commited suicide after Munich Agreement was signed by Germany, Britain, France and Italy (we were not even allowed to be present) because it was great betrayal by our most trusted allies. Then in the WWII many Czechs served in RAF and contributed to the victory in the Battle of Britain.

I guess it's not a part of the UK curriculum.

To be honest I wish I hadn't read this thread as it just serves to worry me more about where this country will end up. I think that we are playing directly into the hands of politicians when as a society we start rounding on each other at times of pressure like this.

But most of all it saddens me to think that my polish born niece is likely going to have to face some pretty shitty comments and treatment before she grows up if eastern european immigration is allowed to become the acceptable face of racism. sad I very much doubt that the average person in the street bothers to care that my db and sil both work and have never claimed a penny. I dislike the way immigrant and benefit claimant are always assumed to go together.

Bumblebzz Mon 25-Mar-13 23:25:34

On the general topic of immigration and whether we have got it right... I think there does tend to be a knne jerk reaction. Think of what it takes to leave your home, your culture, family, friends, language..ROOTS. It is not an easy move to make and one which few would make lightly unless they were very driven (usually not characteristics of people who want to live on benefits).
I emigrated to the UK 17 years ago and despite now having a family here (dd is half English) I still feel homesick and sad sometimes. I have an excellent and very well paid career and it was right to come here, but you do give up a lot too. I never feel totally at home here (I am missing 23 years of shared background, didn't grow up with "Blue Peter" etc!) and will also be a "foreigner" although rarely if ever do I experience negativity. When I go home I also feeling an outsider as I am missing the last 17 years of life (silly things like who is on TV there, I'm not in touch with day to day stuff).
I guess what I am saying is, if I find emigrating tough, when I have a very decent income, settled family, etc, I can't imagine why or how people in more difficult circumstances could take the decision lightly to leave everything to come and live here on benefits, it just doesn't add up.

MiniTheMinx Mon 25-Mar-13 23:36:40

RalucaV, yes you are right, I am not disagreeing with you I am simply saying that there was a propaganda campaign waged by Germany and a few Nazi sympathisers in the lead up to them making their direct threat to march in. I agree also that the UK placated Germany and sold the Czs out. I seem to think that I read about this in The History Twentieth Century Martin Gilbert Vol2 but it was a very long time ago smile

I also agree that this business of stoking up racial hatred is very worrying but it is very much in the DNA of right wing governments.

claig Mon 25-Mar-13 23:44:03

Mini, RalucaV is right about the Czechs not being sympathisers of Hitler. But there was a very large ethnic German population in Czechoslovakia.

Czechoslovakia was formed after the first world war and it was formed with 23% of its population being ethnic Germans - Sudeten Germans.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudeten_Germans

znaika Mon 25-Mar-13 23:47:27

Don't look at a life on benefits through a western european eyes. Look at a life on benefits as a massive increase in your prosperity! Large well maintained property that you do not have to share (even on the most run down estates in the UK the flats are better than old communist blocks) Money for food and even small luxuries. Of course the NHS provides antenatal tests. Education is free and more is provided for in the schools (e.g. British school kids just have their pencil cases and clothes to buy- not text books and art materials etc)

I'm not anti immigration. I made millions of pounds in the UK and adore the place. It would be churlish of me to say that only I should have such an opportunity. But get real, many people will come. Not established skilled workers with families perhaps, but students, young people looking for adventure and a new life. There are extreme differences in lifestyle.
Do not go to the centre of Krakow or Sofia and assume that is life for people in these countries. These are rich areas for tourists.It would be absurd for me to go to Chelsea and have a look around and think this is how the average Brit lives. I would need to go out to the provinces, the suburbs, housing estates.
When i travel to central and eastern europe as I do A LOT for my work. This is the most common conversation have with people. What is it like to live in the UK.

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 23:47:48

MiniTheMinx

I actually teach at a secondary school that is focused on modern history and I'm a history enthusiast, not a historian, though. There is an extensive article about Munich Agreement on wikipedia in English.
A quote by W. Churchill after the Agreement was signed: "Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war"

I hope it will never come to ethnic hatred and wars in Europe again (I think Yugoslavia showed us pretty well where it ends). It's also pretty stupid in a space where no one can claim any pure ancestry anyway, Europe being always in war or on the move in the past millenia. I could be Chinese for all I know smile

However, I'm afraid that if we are not thriftier with public money and that is the responsibility of politicians and us as voters, too, the European states will simply fall down, totally bankrupt.

RalucaV Mon 25-Mar-13 23:52:26

Znaika,

you see, there are even great differences withing Eastern Europe, as you know, even within individual countries.
However, the people are none the worse or less educated than in the West. They are just different and usually have bad English. And?

Do you really believe that the whole of Romania and Bulgaria will come to swarm up the UK? Those who wanted to come, are already there, as I said before.

znaika Tue 26-Mar-13 00:00:54

No, don't be absurd - the whole country won't just turn up !! But the numbers were underestimated before and more will come. I don't care. The UK had my taxes and they've long been spent. I don't suppose benefits is the issue either. I just am confused at this idea that actually few will come and there are no economic incentives. Then a whole load of chippy eastern europeans come on and try and make out that everything there is just hunky dory and the hospitals and schools are better than in the UK and I'm also confused It happens a lot on MN

RalucaV Tue 26-Mar-13 00:11:37

Znaika,

I'm not a chippy Eastern European, I beg your pardon. I've travelled a lot, worked and studied in the US and have a university degree (MA). The only real difference I see between our countries are the size, obviously, and the salaries, the rest is more or less the same. I would like to have some of British education system, but not British healthcare system etc. I like British culture a lot, but I'm not ashamed of my countries either.
I'm only sorry that I can't travel more on a teacher's salary, but it was my decision to stay and not go elsewhere where salaries are five times higher and where I would be a stranger for the rest of my life anyway. I don't need to drive a Range Rover to be happy, I prefer good people.

TO: RalucaV.

FYI

88 Czechoslovakian pilots flew in the Battle of Britain. The Czechoslovakian 310 Squadron and 312 Squadron became operational during the Battle of Britain. Together with Czechoslovak pilots serving in other RAF units, a total of 88 Czechoslovaks (86 Czechs and 2 Slovak) served claiming almost 60 air kills. Nine pilots were killed.

thanksamillion Tue 26-Mar-13 06:27:24

Znaika, don't you think that the situation has changed though from when the borders first opened up? I listen to Romanian radio/read the papers etc (I live in a neighbouring country but speak Romanian) and I'm not sure it's even registering on most people's radars that the rules are changing.

Yes you're right that living conditions are generally better in the UK and yes, there are people who want to come, but I just don't think that there is going to be any great influx.

WidowWadman Tue 26-Mar-13 06:30:07

Bumblebzz What you say is so true. Add to that, that over time you become a foreigner to your country of origin, too - I don't think I could go back without experiencing severe reverse culture shock.

Sometimes makes me feel displaced.

Those who are most scared of immigrants, have no idea what it's like to go and live somewhere else.

RalucaV Tue 26-Mar-13 08:06:25

SellingInMyBlood

I don't know exactly what you are hinting at.

claig Tue 26-Mar-13 09:48:56

RaluhcaV, I think that SellingInMyBlood is supporting you in showing that the Czechs were against the Nazis and fought against them.

RalucaV Tue 26-Mar-13 10:02:08

Claig,

thanks. I'm probably too tired smile

sieglinde Tue 26-Mar-13 10:16:42

Has anyone here read a book called Orderly and Humane? About how we, good old us, forced the Sudeten Germans out of the CZ lands and into Germany, reusing some old rolling freight cars from the Auschwitz route?

Also, it's been shown that immigrants collect hardly any benefits, and are mostly honest taxpayers.

soapandhorny Tue 26-Mar-13 10:20:10

I have lived out of the UK for the past 16 years and before that, when I was in my early 20's I lived in 2 other countries. With that, you would think I am very open minded to immigration, being one myself. I am returning to live in the UK next year and I actually have some very, very strong opinions on the matter. One of the reasons I am leaving my present country is due to the tightening of laws and general sentiment towards foreigners where I live.

In a nutshell, I have never lived anywhere where I could get things for free. As with my other postings I have to pay for my own medical (buy med coverage), kids schooling and housing. Where I live now (Singapore) I have to have a medical before they give me a visa. I have to earn over a certain amount to get a visa (lesser amounts are classified as a lower job, less skilled and not approved) and I am not allowed rights as locals are e.g. entering competitions! If I lose my job, I have 30 days to find another or leave. When I leave the country, they will keep 2 months of my salary and use it to pay any debts I abscond on. If I apply to be a citizen I lose my British passport. If I apply for residency, I have to contribute to a pension scheme (as they won't give me a state one) and my sons have to do National Service. As with the other countries I have lived in, I have no rights to anything the locals receive from the state. I also have to prove that I have a skill they need. Anyone who rocks up at the door with 4 kids in tow and no job and nowhere to stay will be turned around in the immigration lounge. On a daily basis I receive some sort of racist remark or other gesture, which is hurtful, but I have never ever thought of myself as anything but a guest in this and other countries. Singapore puts Singaporeans first and so do most countries. This is really what the British Government should be doing, but it's too scared to say no. There is nowhere else in the world like the UK when it comes to lacking assertiveness when it comes to looking after it's own and saying NO! to others.

There have been a few mentions upthread about being racist etc. Why is this racist? No one on here has mentioned anyones colour or culture. Perhaps those people can share with us their country of birth and what their immigration policies are before judging. People are generally saying that there are enough people, the infrastructure is bursting at the seams and they need to take stock and regroup. Immigration however, is just one small piece of the jigsaw. People need to be better off in work than on benefits etc. etc.

Finally, it really is not difficult to stem illegal immigration. We are an island for god sake. If you want to come here you have to get on a ferry or on a plane. It's not as if you just walk in.

flatpackhamster Tue 26-Mar-13 11:21:47

sieglinde

Has anyone here read a book called Orderly and Humane? About how we, good old us, forced the Sudeten Germans out of the CZ lands and into Germany, reusing some old rolling freight cars from the Auschwitz route?

I haven't read the book but given what happened to everyone else under Stalin's forced relocation policy, it's probably best for the Sudeten Germans that they were moved by the Western Allies. All the Prussians were moved, too. Poles were shoved westward. In 1939 Stalin had all the people he deemed politically unreliable, such as Finns, deported to Siberia. He shoved people around according to whim, and millions were killed as a consequence.

A brutal time and I don't think anyone comes out of it well.

Also, it's been shown that immigrants collect hardly any benefits, and are mostly honest taxpayers.

No need to cite any sources, we'll just take your word for it. Open the gates (wider), Sieglinde's solved the problem.

boxershorts Tue 26-Mar-13 11:34:47

I am a liberal in most things But Boston (lincolnshire) has had a rough time with immigration

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 26-Mar-13 11:34:53

soapandhorny again Singapore isn't a very good comparison to the UK. It has a very low birth rate of 1.15, and it will be shrinking without massive immigration. It has a target to increase its population by migration with a very liberal visa policy. (It seems to be failing to get its native to breed. Maybe we can teach them a thing or two). This has led to protests against immigrants.

Singapore is probably more like Oz in its aim to population numbers. Those in charge wants to increase it while th e people is against newcomers.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 26-Mar-13 11:37:30

Iirc Singapore govt actually plans to increase the population by 30%. And a lot of the migrants accepted are low skilled labourers too. Along with the highly educated and skilled ofc.

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Mar-13 11:37:50

MsAverage
I have all my passports here on my desk, going back to before I moved to this country.
No visa anywhere. Just ILR granted one time when I came back into the country.
And despite the fact that the rules have changed, it was never retrospective - my ILR still stands.
As do millions of other unrecorded ones.

The REAL POINT is that Cameroon is demonising foreigners to make the Brits pull together and not notice how much he is ripping off the poor to help the RICH LIKE HIM

sieglinde Tue 26-Mar-13 11:43:30
MorphsMum Tue 26-Mar-13 12:02:52

There's a Romanian Big Issue seller standing out in my street today. She stands out there from before 9 AM to after 5 PM, all days, even when it's minus degrees like today. She's wearing open-toe sandals with woolly socks underneath despite the snow and layers of jumpers. I know for a fact she has three children back in Romania who she sends money to, and that some days all she will get for standing outside all day is under £5. If I was this woman, I would be howling, crying, I think, but even at 5 PM she is polite: "Big Issue?"

I am in favour of totally open borders and no immigration control. Injustice such as this (who would CHOOSE to do what this lady does if they weren't facing worse alternatives?) would not happen. We would all have to share with those people in the world who have less.

flatpackhamster Tue 26-Mar-13 12:05:26

Oh, a link to the Guardian. A link to the website which represents the only subset of the UK population to either benefit from mass immigration or be largely unaffected by it. The Guardian - the Daily Mail for people who think they're too good to read the Daily Mail.

They benefit from it through access to cheap unskilled and semi-skilled labour, and they're largely unaffected by it because they're public sector workers, whose salary is not reduced as a result of the influx of workers with similar skills. In the private sector incomes have been forced down due to the arrival of migrant workers.

It's not actually evidence for your claim, is it? It's a link to Britain's least popular broadsheet.

soapandhorny Tue 26-Mar-13 12:16:14

I just had a look at this link.

What we want to do is make sure that, if someone’s come here to work, they’re temporarily unemployed, they can claim benefits, but after six months, they’ll have to show that they really are putting absolutely everything into finding a job and they’ve got a reasonable prospect of doing so.

So let me see if I read this right (forgive me, I've been abroad for 15 years). So you can come to the UK, claim unemployment benefit for 6 months whilst you look for work?

Seriously WTAF?

Sorry, but most other places in the world you have to have a job before they'll let you through immigration.

hmm Seriously reconsidering coming back.

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Mar-13 12:16:18

I suppose the figures on the BBC are just Biased too ....
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21921089

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 26-Mar-13 12:21:59

soapandhorny these people are residents of the UK. You can claim benefit in many countries once you are a resident. I think you are confusing people in this category against those who have no residency rights.

CFSKate Tue 26-Mar-13 12:22:55

MorphsMum - I remembered reading that some Romanians become Big Issue sellers not because they are homeless, but because it is a way to become registered for jobs/benefits etc. It's like a loophole, so presumably if Romanians get full EU rights, the number of Romanian Big Issue sellers will drop, because they won't need to do that anymore, as they will have those rights anyway? www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/8527950/Romanian-families-use-Big-Issue-loophole.html

sleepyhead Tue 26-Mar-13 12:27:41

soapandhorny, you need to understand about the EU before you can understand what's being debated here.

If you are from Singapore, US, Australia, China, Japan - anywhere outside the EU - then no, you can't come to the UK without a job and claim benefits.

The EU is a special case because of agreements that people within that area can move without restriction and that governments agree to treat other EU citizens the same as their own. It's exactly the same for UK citizens who travel to Germany, France, Italy, Spain etc etc.

It's important to keep the two groups distinct, not least because we have made various committments to the EU and are restricted in our abilities to renage on these without other consequences. It's not as simple as "closing the borders".

Bridgetbidet Tue 26-Mar-13 12:34:47

The Guardian and the BBC are just as guilty of distracting from the fact the poor are being screwed over as Cameron is.

Their obsession with equality as something divided along the lines of race, religion or sexuality is just a distraction from the fact that in ways that actually matter such as in financial equality and equality of opportunity almost EVERYBODY is getting worse off regardless of their class or race.

Immigration has been the left wings way of getting the turkeys to vote for Christmas. The left has become so obsessed with race and immigration that it has lost site of all the important issues It's a smokescreen which covers up the fact they're doing nothing about real inequality.

I don't trust the BBC or Guardian any more than I trust Cameron, they both represent a wealthy elite, just a slightly different kind.

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Mar-13 12:37:59

So do you not accept the figures produced by the Institute for Fiscal studies ....
www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctpb21/Cpapers/DustmannFrattiniHalls2010.pdf

I like data, its always better than "belief"

Bridgetbidet Tue 26-Mar-13 12:56:30

Talkinpeace, those figures may show that immigrants are less likely to claim benefits but it doesn't say why that is.

Has it not occurred to you that this is often because immigrants can work here for a short period of time and live in horrible conditions but go back to their native country with a nice lump sum of money which will enable them to live a decent life?

If you are a native person and you take these jobs it won't be for a few months or years until you return where you came from, it will be forever. Forever in a horrible, boring, grinding low paid job that doesn't afford you a better living than you would have on benefits? I don't blame the natives for not taking the jobs in those circumstances.

It may give figures but it doesn't give the reason why. And if it's because the locals refuse to work for poverty wages I don't blame them.

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Mar-13 13:04:07

And if it's because the locals refuse to work for poverty wages I don't blame them

Then either be happy for the job not to be done, or accept that immigrants will do them - as has been the case for hundreds of years.
And if those jobs are not done, say goodbye to carrots, potatoes, cabbage, cheap meat and many other parts of the food chain that rely on immigrant labour.

America is going through EXACTLY the same problem with (illegal) immigrant labour being essential for their food crops ...

sleepyhead Tue 26-Mar-13 13:15:05

It's often impossible for locals to work for the wages that short term work pays, especially if they have families.

This is partially because of the slow response times and inflexibility of the benefits system which punishes people who have unpredictable work patterns (often agriculture picking, packing and processing works on a just-in-time basis and won't guarantee any particular level of work).

If the immigrants aren't there then the work will not get done because quite rightly, you can't risk losing your house for the possibility of zero hours a week. I don't blame them either, but it's a fact of life and always has been, that agriculture relies on an unusually flexible and seasonal workforce, whether that's immigrants, or a hundred years ago (or less) people coming out from the London slums to do potato picking.

It's the same with tourism in other parts of the country. A hell of a lot of Aussies working in hotels in the Highlands and living in dorms because you can't raise a family on a few weeks work a year.

pollypandemonium Tue 26-Mar-13 14:48:17

Immigration is fine but it a) undercuts labour costs keeping them artificially low.

and b) many immigrants don't think of the UK as 'home' and any investment they make will go abroad and will not settle here. And c) they don't put down roots and build communities here alongside the permanent residents.

But there are other kinds of immigration where families build in the UK, stay here, become part of the wider fabric of the nation (I am one of them). They think of the UK as home and as their future. They set down roots and build communities.

So if any politician wants to think of a bright idea it would be to get immigrants to show their commitment to the UK by ensuring they keep their money in the country and not taking it out. If they don't want to do that then they can go elsewhere.

Mrsdavidcaruso Tue 26-Mar-13 14:56:54

Sleepyhead that is so true, my uncle is a farm worker the farm he works in is 20 miles from where he lives and there are no buses so he has to have a car. His car is due it's MOT and he knows it will fail, he has 3 children and works for min wage and has to pay rent and bills etc he cannot afford to save up for a new car. Thats means when he loses his car he wont be able to get to work.

On the hand almost all the other workers are immigrants they work for an agency and they get BUSSED in every day - they live in shared housing and pay very little rent.

Every time a local worker leaves the farm they are automatically replaced by an agency worker the agency advertises for workers, not locally but in Poland and other Eastern European counties.

So when my uncle loses his job and ends up on the dole he will be classed as another lazy Brit who wont do the jobs that immigrants are happy to do when the fact is he wants to work but he is not going to be able to.

sleepyhead Tue 26-Mar-13 15:05:39

I suspect they'll get their accommodation and their transport taken directly from their wages by the agency. They'll likely be working for less than minimum wage - these agencies know what they're doing, and although UKBA keep an eye on them there's a lot of illegal activity going on that they get away with.

We have minimum wage so it shouldn't be possible for employers to pay less, and yet many get away with it. That's a legislative issue and not to do with immigration - it could equally end up being northerners coming south to look for work if things get really bad.

And while many immigrants may well take money out of the country, that pales into insignificance when you look at the profits pouring out by foreign owned businesses, many of whom pay minimal tax and who, if they pay their workers minimum wage, may well be being subsidised by the taxpayer through the tax credits system.

It's all a mess.

Mrsdavidcaruso Tue 26-Mar-13 15:27:26

My uncle saw a letter from the agency it was in Polish so couldn't understand it but it did show in sterling the min wage - so the owner of the letter must have been getting that.

As for accommodation the Polish team leader and at least 8 of the workers were living in a squat until the locals reported them when the anti squatting laws went live.

They may also have to pay for the bus, but at least they get transport to the farm so can work there which is something my uncle wont have soon.

pollypandemonium Tue 26-Mar-13 15:36:31

I think farm work has always been provided by transient groups - it is the nature of that kind of work. But there would always have been key workers who would do the general running of the farms.

From a city perspective though - I walked by a cycle path project paid for by the Mayor, managed by the Council, every worker was Polish. There were about 5 of them standing around chatting while one of them did some work. Meanwhile my dp is desperately seeking work and can't find it.

You'd think that the Mayor and the Council would understand that it would benefit the public (which they serve) to employ local workers.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 16:22:13

I pass the London Big Issue offices a number of times a month on the way to work. There have been huge changes and there are clearly some organised gangs working there now. The days of lone sellers turning up often with their dogs is long gone.

There are large groups of East Eurpoean's organising themselves outside and I have seen clothes and such like been given out to make them appear more needy. A couple of weeks ago someone was swapping their shoes for open toed sandels (in this weather!) before they went off on their rounds and there was a van outside being driven by 'someone' that clearly was in charge of all of this.

Around here the only Big Issue sellers are from Eastern Europe.

And yes, I do believe they are doing these roles to give themselves access to the UK benefits. Its a loophole.

Mrsdavidcaruso Tue 26-Mar-13 16:46:49

The Big Issue sellers on the Isle of Wight come over by ferry from the mainland ( I have seen them) - if they can afford the ferry fares they aint starving

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 17:08:53

You know -I liked seeing the true Big Issue sellers with their beautiful dogs and hate the fact it is has been taken over by others for their own ends.

fancyanother Tue 26-Mar-13 17:51:47

Yes, I think the Eastern European Bug Issue sellers have done no end of harm to the Big Issue in general. They always put the old ladies on the street selling the Big Issue. Why are people here who are then homeless and need to sell the Big Issue? It makes no sense. It has turned from a way that the homeless can get back into the job market and get back a bit of dignity to a job like any other that some use to get access to the benefits system. The thing is, statistics don't really matter to people when they are the ones who's children have to be taught in portacabins in the playground because the schools are too full, or their green space is being built on to build more schools, or they cant get into hospital when they are in labour because of the rising birthrate. It's not just about whether immigrants work or not, it is the huge rise in population that they bring through children. The emigrants from the UK are made up by quite a lot of pensioners, I would think. These are people who leave by the 1 or 2. The immigrants we get in start off as 1 or 2, then have children that have to be born somewhere, housed somewhere and schooled somewhere. This is causing resentment among people who were previously pro immigration, or had no views one way or another. In some areas of the country, quality of life is suffering now. Improving infrastructure won't matter if you have a 5 year old now in a school with 120 other 5 year olds

mirryma Tue 26-Mar-13 17:53:56

My son and his 3 sons,all born in South Africa, have UK passports. The boys also have SA passports. His wife only has a SA passport. My son only has UK passport. They have to share taking the boys through passport control - neither could do all 3 boys.Carin has been his wife for 10 years he works for a multinational company registered in the UK. Why cannot she have a UK passport? Every time they come to the UK she needs a visa - they both work,have private health care and are here on holiday.It is discrimination.

SherbetVodka Tue 26-Mar-13 18:00:14

Oh, a link to the Guardian. A link to the website which represents the only subset of the UK population to either benefit from mass immigration or be largely unaffected by it. The Guardian - the Daily Mail for people who think they're too good to read the Daily Mail.

They benefit from it through access to cheap unskilled and semi-skilled labour, and they're largely unaffected by it because they're public sector workers, whose salary is not reduced as a result of the influx of workers with similar skills. In the private sector incomes have been forced down due to the arrival of migrant workers.

For what it's worth, I have only ever worked in the private sector on a very low wage with little job security. I currently do a crappy job in a supermarket for very close to the minimum wage and I read the guardian and agree with their politics smile Am sure I'm not the only one.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:29:40

Sherbet makes a good point. She is in a low paid role and when more and more people are applying for these low paid roles to gain benefits etc. Well - she might find she loses her job!

She is not someone who is refusing to do this type of work but is scared that instead of say 10 people applying for the role there could be 300..

Have I got that right Sherbet?

pollypandemonium Tue 26-Mar-13 19:35:03

Immigrant workers are supported by the government precisely because they provide cheap labour for big business. Many of these big businesses put their money off-shore to save tax here and so the only people that really benefit is the fat cats. They drive labour costs down and make few demands. They are more dispensable and less likely to take unfair employers to tribunal.

The immigrant workers don't get much out of it because they clearly would prefer to be at home in their own country with their own families. The fact is they get better pay here and a bit of NHS treatment thrown in. The Polish woman I know says that her friends have children here but leave when they get to school age. I think a lot of them are not used to ethnic minorities racist and so they don't like the statutory services (education / health) in London because they are so mixed. I say this from experience, it's not just a hunch.

Immigration isn't a problem - the minimum wage, unfair tax and employment standards are a problem and until those are dealt with the native British workforce will continue to be claiming benefit.

The Treasury may bring a bit of extra tax revenue in through migrant workers but the problems that are caused as a result of having a large transient population are not covered for by this extra revenue. The IFS report doesn't take into account the damage caused by the erosion of social cohesion.

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Mar-13 19:39:34

polly
Sadly you are right.
If supermarkets can get hundreds of staff for free through Workfare, and cheap produce through gangmasters, why on EARTH would they want to pay English people the living wage
especially when their Minimum Wage payments are topped up by the taxpayer with tax credits.

The tax credits system just made it easier for big (tax avoiding) businesses to shaft the poor of all nationalities.

lemonmuffin Tue 26-Mar-13 20:07:52

The Guardian - the Daily Mail for people who think they're too good to read the Daily Mail.

Oh yes.

Perfect summing up in a single sentence.

Erebus Tue 26-Mar-13 20:35:30

Er- no. Not perfect, just inaccurate. The DM is a tabloid with far right wing views; the Guardian is pitched towards the left without being The Red Star Daily or whatever. The Telegraph is the DM for people with 'O' levels.

Cherriesarered Tue 26-Mar-13 21:51:03

If you are a journalist.. I want to say this....

I am sick and tired of the "bad immigrants stealing all our council houses, commit crime, steal ourjobs etc.." retoric.

Equally I am sick and tired of the "immigrants are young, super human, give [insert random number] £ to the economy and the NHS and [insert industry] couldn't survive without them."

The truth is just like in any populations of people there are immigrants who are fit, healthly and work hard, have some luck and can make money or contribute in another way. There are also people who become sick, can't or won't work, have bad luck and don't make money and need help from the state.

The real issue in this country is that the services [housing, health, education] for everyone are stretched....beyond belief in some areas.... and adding more people who need these services only adds to to the stress.

5 million people in this country need housing. Over the last 20+years 10 million extra people have come to this country. Are we going to be building 5 million council houses???Where??? Who is paying???

The reality is that the government does need to 'control' immigration but that doesn't mean that people who are immigrants aren't welcomed, loved or appreciated. We all need to start having a sensible debate about it all.

pollypandemonium Tue 26-Mar-13 22:00:01

Talkinpeace - I am so with you on the tax credits thing. The taxpayer is propping up bad employers by supplying what is effectively a wage top-up.

What's not to like for Tesco's?

Increasing the minimum wage will sort this problem overnight as the only employers that will want to stay in this country will be forced to invest in their employees. At the moment they choose low paid immigrants because they are reliable and cheap but dispensable. If they had to pay them more they wouldn't want to invest in workers that may want to leave in a few months. They would want people who would stay and put back into the company.

Immigration isn't the problem - poor wages and working conditions definitely are.

flatpackhamster Tue 26-Mar-13 22:02:05

Erebus

Er- no. Not perfect, just inaccurate. The DM is a tabloid with far right wing views; the Guardian is pitched towards the left without being The Red Star Daily or whatever.

Nonsense. The Guardian is just as full of hate, fearmongering and intolerance as the DM. It is way to the left - it represents a tiny minority of people who have comfort and wealth and are determined to keep it.

And if you don't think the Guardian is 'red', I advise you to read Seamus 'Stalin was a misunderstood snugglepuss' Milne's contributions. Not just him of course. They get communists from the New Economics Foundation, watermelons from the Green party, and hundreds of other contributors who are so far round the left-wing bend they couldn't poke the centre ground with a long pole.

flatpackhamster Tue 26-Mar-13 22:05:13

pollypandemonium Tue 26-Mar-13 22:00:01
^
Talkinpeace - I am so with you on the tax credits thing. The taxpayer is propping up bad employers by supplying what is effectively a wage top-up.^

What's not to like for Tesco's?

Increasing the minimum wage will sort this problem overnight as the only employers that will want to stay in this country will be forced to invest in their employees. At the moment they choose low paid immigrants because they are reliable and cheap but dispensable. If they had to pay them more they wouldn't want to invest in workers that may want to leave in a few months. They would want people who would stay and put back into the company.

You'll put millions out of work because small businesses can't afford to take them on, and you still won't get British workers employed because employers will choose the hardest worker rather than the British worker.

Immigration isn't the problem - poor wages and working conditions definitely are.

I suppose that all those millions of extra workers haven't contributed to wage depression?

pollypandemonium Tue 26-Mar-13 22:14:36

Only because the minimum wage is so low. That's my point. The immigration is a result of the low wage, not the other way round. If employers had to pay more and invest in their staff properly they would undoubtedly invest in workers that are going to stay for the long haul.

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Mar-13 22:14:59

flatpack

The thing is that the "National Minimum Wage" is substantially more than employers pay - because all full time workers on NMW are topped up from £11,700 to £17,500 with tax credits.

Those tax credits are paid for out of the NI and PAYE paid by the rest of us, NOT out of the corporation taxes of the employers who saved the money in the first place.

Workfare is even more offensive : we, other taxpayers, pay benefits to people who work for free for FTSE listed companies .....

Depressingly I think Gideon's budget gamble of the £2000 ERS NI credit is actually a really good idea because for a small employer it will make a really big difference. Plc's will not notice.

BUT
the problem is between rich and poor.
Nationality is not the major issue.

pollypandemonium Tue 26-Mar-13 22:19:08

Thanks for clarifying Talkin - what's Gideon's budget gamble? I think I've not been paying attention.

Talkinpeace Tue 26-Mar-13 22:23:42

Polly
All employers will be able to deduct £2000 per year from their ERS NI bill from next year - ERS NI is a 13.8% tax that employers pay for having employees.
In a small employer it basically subsidises the cost of two apprentices / trainees / part timers.
Big businesses will not notice.
Just have to hope tat before it comes in (April 2014) it does not get emasculated by HMRC - but the idea is well sound)

niceguy2 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:46:41

Increasing the minimum wage will sort this problem overnight as the only employers that will want to stay in this country will be forced to invest in their employees.

Rubbish. What will happen is employers will think harder before employing anyone and many companies will move more jobs overseas instead.

We always seem to use Tesco's, Amazon & Starbucks as examples of companies who can afford to pay more. But seldom do we mention many small companies who most people work for whom can ill afford to pay a higher minimum wage.

Also many large companies who are offshoring jobs at a rate of knots to take advantage of the even lower rates of pay abroad. I regularly travel to Egypt where we have a large delivery centre (aka call centre) and the area we are in has virtually every multinational company you can think of. Vodafone, Microsoft, HSBC to name but a few.

We can hire young bilingual (often trilingual) graduates who will work twice as hard for 30% of what they would earn in the UK on minimum wage. And by god they are happy with that! During the revolution despite management telling everyone to go home and the office would be closing, many employees returned with sleeping bags and loaded up with food so they could camp out and continue to work. That's the sort of motivation your UK employees are up against.

I'm not saying it's right...I'm not saying it's wrong. It is what it is. We compete in a global market place and we're getting our arses handed to us on a plate. Upping our minimum wage....just another nail in our economic coffin.

HillBilly76 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:59:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

pollypandemonium Wed 27-Mar-13 00:24:32

Niceguy it is clear that even our minimum wage is not low enough for your company to employ here, they are recruiting abroad anyway. We don't really compete in a global market place, what it really is is taking advantage of the lowest paid where we possibly can. Thats not competition, it's opportunism.

pollypandemonium Wed 27-Mar-13 00:30:19

Hillbilly who decides that someone's labour is 'worth' £6 - it's about supply and demand. If you have to raise your price to provide the quality goods because they are made by the quality workforce, people will have to pay it.

Tesco make huge profits - they are perfectly capable of paying staff more but they don't need to, so they won't. But if they were forced to pay £9 you can bet they would choose the very best workers to do the job and they would very likely be the workers that can speak english, read and write and smile at customers at the same time.

I think many, if not most, of the respondents to this question have missed the point.

There is no doubt that from a pure economic point of view, immigration is a good thing: 1) Immigration has the immediate effect of reducing wages and other labour costs. 2) Immigrants tend to be young: that means they pay taxes and social welfare contributions and don't draw pensions. 3) It is more easy in the medium term fund current pensions from the increased immigrant tax take.

The last Labour government had no mandate to allow unfettered waves of immigrants into the UK, but they did, why?

Did they not know the economic effects of immigration, of course they did. They knew real wages in the unskilled, low paid segment would be put under pressure. They knew that many would be forced from the labour market onto surviving on benefits.

Did they estimate the social welfare effects; pressure on education in some areas, local doctor surgeries, hospitals etc. etc. Of course they knew what was going to happen. Look at the government reports and estimates of the demand for social welfare in the short to medium published in the early part of the last government - the figures are there?

Did they think that planned waves of immigration would create social tension which could easily spill over into outright race riots. Yes they did. That is why they invented the biggest taxpayer backed programme of political re-education / brain washing since the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The diversity and multi-cultural programmes and training. Under Gordon Brown 56% of the working population was in the government sector. That means that a very large proportion of the population has undergone this unnecessary, taxpayer funded political brain washing.

They spawned a whole new industry overnight. Teachers and health workers diverted from teaching and caring into delivering political propaganda. The oodles of consultants, consulting to all manner of government bodies on how to implement and maintain compliance with the new laws. The hundreds of taxpayer funded quangos advising and reporting on multiculturalism and diversity. One such body in the Welsh Valleys advised its local government clients to stop using the term "British" when speaking to members of the public regarding nationality because, and I quote, "The term, British, could easily be interpreted as a term of abuse and or taken as an insult and or cause offence".

So in short, the Labour party, with malice and aforethought, embarked upon a programme of mass immigration that they knew full-well would screw their own working class electoral base. Nobody can argue that they didn't know what they were doing and what the effects would be and on whom. They knew alright. So why?

Well if you care to read the documents (secret under Labour) that the new government had released, the answer is there; and I quote, "immigration will further the social aims of the Labour Party". What does that mean?

It means it is a well known fact that immigrants, when they achieve the right to vote, tend to vote left wing by a margin of 70%. Moreover, the released reports thinly veil the fact that immigration was a tactic designed to put the right wing in the country on the back foot. That is why whenever any body questioned the policy they were accused of being racist.

Insofar as the current high levels of immigration are maintained then, IN THE SHORT TERM, real wages will continue to be depressed and pressure on social welfare systems will continue. One simply has to accept this new reality. If you are low paid and feeling the competitive pressure from immigrants willing to work even harder for even less, then I'm sorry, but it's not going to change. Neither will the pressure on the social welfare systems - you are going to have to get used to longer queues at the doctors and class sizes approaching 40 pupils - of mixed language ability.

Many on these pages have repeatedly mentioned the economic and social welfare effects. However, there is now sufficient evidence - gleaned from academic studies, reports and opinion poles - to suggest that once the economy pulls round these worries will disappear. But the long term deeper seated worries will remain and that these are worries about cultural differences.

The judeo-christian ethic, like it or not, is the cornerstone and foundation of all Western society. Each separate region or country of the "West" has taken this foundation and remoulded it in their own way. Slavic Poland is staunchly Catholic. But so are the Mediterranean countries; but the Catholicism is very different - because the Romano, Gallic, Iberian culture is different from Polish-Slavic culture. The British have a particular culture and history that is as important to us, and our sense of who we are and what we want to be, as being Polish is to a Pole who lives in Warsaw. Being British, living amongst fellows who share common values and culture is important - and there is nothing wrong with that.

The evidence suggests there is a growing sense, across all social spectra that, "traditional British culture" is being persecuted, purposely depressed and outlawed. Daily reports of Christians being persecuted and sacked due to their faith when other religions are given free reign. The pub which during the World Cup was threatened with closure by the police unless it took down its St, George's cross flag - because a passing commuter on a bus had called and said he was offended by it. The prosecution of young adults in Swanson for flying the St. Georges cross flag on the occasion of an England win.

The problem is not East European immigration. The East Europeans share a common judeo-christian ethic and in a couple of generations will be playing cricket, eating fish and chips and cheering England in the World Cup. Because of their common judeo-christian ethic they will be assimilated and as British as they come - even if their name ends in "ski". The problem is non-European immigration.

What is stoking up the long term fires of anti-immigration is the general sense that being British and proud is somehow no longer official accepted. That being British has to be subsumed, hidden away, no longer socially acceptable. The sense that "British" culture is being slowly outlawed and legislated against.

Most British people want to live in a community that shares common traditional "British" values. Most persons would prefer government expenditure be directed towards assisting new arrivals to quickly assimilate rather than, at every opportunity, ramming down the throats of the general population, politically correct diversity and multiculturalism.

What we need is assimilation not multiculturalism.

If you are working class, low paid or unemployed then the next time you consider voting Labour just remember that it was they, with full knowledge, malice and aforethought, that screwed you and your fellow workers. That being low paid but British and proud was no longer acceptable and that you had to be content with just being low paid.

HillBilly76 Wed 27-Mar-13 02:48:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Mrsdavidcaruso Wed 27-Mar-13 06:43:16

Flatpackhamster how fucking dare you say the hardest worker wont be the British worker thats total rubbish and I am sick of people like you saying this.

I used to live in South London where most of the people employed seem to be foreign very rarely did I deal with a British worker in my day to day life - that was fair enough immigrants tend to gravitate to large cities where there is more work

I now live on the Isle of Wight where although we have immigrants working here the majority of the work is done by British workers

My Bus Driver, Taxi Driver, Supermarket Assistant, Dentist, Doctor, Nurse
Train Driver, Plumber, Electrician, Roofer, in fact all the people who provide me with service in my day to day life are BRITISH.

So if moronic people like you are correct nothing would get done here on the Island in fact it's the opposite. I have never had better service than on the Island.

We have a large amount of people unemployed in fact we are a black spot but thats NOT because the Islanders don't want to work, there are few jobs here, thats why 2,000 people turned up for an open day at the of the local tourist attractions competing for 15 seasonal jobs, thats why we had 300 replies for a part time Admin job at my work.

I am getting sick and tired of people like you Hamster

SherbetVodka Wed 27-Mar-13 08:24:43

Nonsense. The Guardian is just as full of hate, fearmongering and intolerance as the DM. It is way to the left - it represents a tiny minority of people who have comfort and wealth and are determined to keep it.

Wikipedia's definition of left wing: In politics, left-wing describes an outlook or specific position that accepts or supports social equality, often in opposition to social hierarchy and social inequality. It usually involves a concern for those in society who are disadvantaged relative to others and an assumption that there are unjustified inequalities (which right-wing politics views as natural or traditional) that need to be reduced or abolished.

Quite the opposite to "a tiny minority of people who have comfort and wealth and are determined to keep it".

That phrase from you, in fact, sums up the mentality of the right wing, neoliberal political class. The ones who are privatising the NHS, cutting social care provision and public services to the bone, removing lifeline benefits from disabled people, allowing wealthy corporations to exploit the unemployed as free labour and deliberately perpetuating social inequality safe in the knowledge that their own wealth and privilege will always protect them and their children from the penury that they are condemning so many others to.

SherbetVodka Wed 27-Mar-13 09:00:28

It is way to the left - it represents a tiny minority of people who have comfort and wealth and are determined to keep it.

The guardian is the only newspaper that regularly criticises the government's privatisation of the NHS and its demonisation of benefit claimants. It frequently reports on the difficulties faced by disabled people who are facing poverty and loss of independence due to cuts in/removal of their benefits. Last week it exposed the existence of targets for sanctioning benefit claimants in the DWP. It often runs articles about families who are struggling to feed their children due to poverty

This may be "way to the left" but I can't fathom how this shows that it "represents a tiny minority of people who have comfort and wealth" at all hmm

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 09:23:30

I agree HillBilly - I dont particulary like self service checkouts but lots do and not just the younger generation. The old folks seem to really like them around here.

People are the most expensive part of a business, when the chips are down economically companies will look for cheaper ways of doing things whether that be self service or off shoring. Its business, its not personal!

niceguy2 Wed 27-Mar-13 09:29:57

they would very likely be the workers that can speak english, read and write and smile at customers at the same time.

And judging from what I've seen at our local schools, those employees will be immigrants. It's an absolute disgrace that my Eastern European fiancee who came to the UK with only the English she learnt at school has a better grasp of grammar & spelling than most of the people she's interviewing. Even worse that many of them fail the basic maths test such as "How much change do you get from £20 if something costs £17.84" and they get the use of a calculator for that. My 11 year old worked it out in his head whilst munching on a sandwich.

We don't really compete in a global market place, what it really is is taking advantage of the lowest paid where we possibly can.

And who is taking advantage of the lowest paid? The companies? Or you as a consumer? Next time you go buy your car insurance or switch gas companies to save a couple of quid a month, that puts pressure on companies to shave costs where it can. And outsourcing is one way of lowering costs.

Where do you think your mobile phone is from? Brighton? No. Chances are it's from China. Why? Because they can make it cheaper there and if it were British made it would be 3x the price meaning you wouldn't buy it.

We've seen many front line call centres return to the UK because consumers demanded it. Vote with your wallet and companies will follow. But don't blame companies for trying to shave costs where they can in order to get your business.

merrymouse Wed 27-Mar-13 10:29:15

In this country it is agreed by all main political parties that every person in a full time job should have a certain living standard. If that living standard cannot be met from their salary they are subsidised by the government.

Employers may feel they are making savings by driving down wages. However, what goes around comes around, and the balance has to be clawed back through tax. Whether tax drives down sales because of increases in VAT, takes money out of the consumer's pocket because of increases in income tax, or (even) there is an increase in Corporation Tax, this effects business.

If we all want to live in a civilised society, we have to pick up the bill somewhere.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 27-Mar-13 11:41:57

Thanks niceguy, I'd have missed the gem that is We don't really compete in a global market place. Many of us in white collar jobs are. I'm in software and it is very much a global market. We have products with customers in India and Eastern Europe. We have developement in India and China. Our head office is in California. We are a manufacturer (of virtual goods), along with services, which is supposedly what the British economy should be based on. At least everyone is drumming on about manufacturing but seems to have the idea of manufacturing stuck in the past of big factories.

Without people who are exporting, and hence, competing in a global market and workplace, we won't have any money local services. And we buy so much that is made overseas, because we all vote with our money for cheaper price.

Actually I prefer self checkouts. I also prefer to buy online.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Mar-13 12:12:46

"we all vote with our money for cheaper price"
"I prefer self checkouts"

I guess you would also prefer to pay more tax so that neo-liberal corporatist agenda can continue to perpetuate welfare need through the erosion of wages to those in low skilled work or even rising unemployment. Oh good oh.

Some interesting points SellingInMyBlood I agree that Labour further opened the door and created layers of government jobs to promote multi-culturalism. Creating a situation where inequality is perceived to be based on gender, culture, race and religion is used to divide us. Identity politics plays into the hands of global capital. Labour was "NEW" labour.

In many ways I can understand why people take up the position that UK PLC needs to be competitive in the global economy. However one of the contradictions of globalisation is the pressure upon nation states to deregulate to allow easier capital flow (capital being the means of production and finance capital but also human capital) whilst also increasing the pressure upon nations to be competitive. This is undermining nations in terms of tax and welfare but conversely causing a situation where competing nations will become hostile to outsiders.

slug Wed 27-Mar-13 12:19:46

<<Snort>> I work in about the most international place you could imagine.

anqet Wed 27-Mar-13 12:29:16

Academic research has shown that Eastern Europeans immigrants - from A8 & A2 countries - are more likely to be in employment than British citizens and significantly less likely to ask for benefits. This research is largely ignored in media.

http://www.voxeu.org/article/fiscal-effects-a8-migration-uk
http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-173-27-0208/outputs/read/168e9670-4f8d-45ad-a5cf-438b26ca39cf

Using the immigrants as scapegoats is a very easy thing to do. I think the real problem has nothing to do with immigrants, it's actually related to the benefit systems for ALL. I think it's very easy in this country to stay off work if you are willing to live on minimum income that comes from benefits.

I worked and lived legally in five countries so far, not only EU ones, and I find UK to be the most permissive of all five when it comes to giving benefits, especially social housing - and not to immigrants, just generally speaking, to people who are complacent and don't want to return to work. Immigrants tend to work harder to make a living and compensate for the language/cultural/lack of networking disadvantage as compared to locals. That is well known in sociological literature...

I have never requested any benefits myself except maternity pay (conditioned by me being in employment the year before) and child benefit (which was universal). I was never unemployed and always paid taxes as a resident, and tried to support every local community I lived in.

And, as a Romanian, I find it incredibly sad about being singled out as a nation because of bad press & misinterpreted statistics - mostly Daily Mail, Telegraph, and the Sun. This is happening even in this topic -- and it's based on sheer ignorance, I'm afraid. Pointing fingers at Romanians & Bulgarians (it was Polish people several years ago) won't solve your problems. It might bring some votes here and there but that's about it.

Cheers.

flatpackhamster Wed 27-Mar-13 12:33:36

The argument against mass immigration is not - at least from my political part of the spectrum - about how hard working immigrants are or whether or not they are just coming here for benefits.

The argument is that they are forcing down salaries for semi-skilled and unskilled jobs and that they are competing for scarce welfare resources with the people already living here. We are not short of unskilled and semi-skilled workers.

Bridgetbidet Wed 27-Mar-13 13:06:40

SherbetVodka. Have you read the Guardian recently? Have you looked at the products it promotes? How expensive they are? The lifestyle it sells to it's readers? There are things in there that would absolutely shame a third world dictator they're so expensive. Their whole ethos has about as much relevance to someone living and working on a council estate in Merthyr Tydfill or Leeds as the classified adverts in Country Life.

Bridgetbidet Wed 27-Mar-13 13:10:15

Sellinginmyblood I think that's very well said.

I have always found the 'equalities' agenda a particular con. The biggest inequalities in the country at the moment is the gap between rich and poor. But the lefts insistence that it is actually between races, religions and sexual preferences is a smoke screen to distract from the fact that they are doing nothing about real inequalities which are financial.

Look at what the last Labour government did - abolished the 10p tax rate, abolished the student grant, introduced tuition fees. All things which massively increased the inequalities in our society. But they got away with little comment.

alemci Wed 27-Mar-13 14:51:52

I agree with selling in my blood.

I don't think it is particularly that we don't want immigrants from certain countries either i.e. Romania and Bulgaria. I think that it would be better not to have any more unskilled poor people coming into Britain at present where ever they are from and often the EU is used as a route into Britain.

We need to sort out the back log of ones who have come here illegally or are waiting for citizenship.

Mumsyblouse Wed 27-Mar-13 15:02:21

Alemci I think it remains to be proven that it will be the unskilled poor coming here, so far it has been (due to visa restrictions perhaps) those who are highly educated and skilled, and in general it is not the elderly or sick that want to start again in a new place. There may be a small proportion of unskilled labourers who are prepared to do the crop picking type jobs, but in general, the Eastern Europeans I have met (Polich, Bulgarian) have tended to be underemployed and very highly qualified, just doing what we would class as poorly paid jobs.

alemci Wed 27-Mar-13 15:05:22

Mumsy

what about the Roma. Some of them are here already.

Mumsyblouse Wed 27-Mar-13 15:07:12

Sellinginmyblood I kind of agree with what you are saying about the judeo-christian ethic underlying a lot of Eastern European cultures which means actually they integrate pretty well in the UK and within a generation or two blend in very easily (for example that lady on Question Time had Polish grandparents who had done so). However, the one elephant in the room in terms of culture is the different gipsy/Roma culture which is not mainstream within those EE cultures or here, and does not seamlessly blend (think begging on the tube with children in tow, for example).

There has been a lot of conflation in the press between 'Romanians and Bulgarians' and Romanian and Bulgarian gipsy populations, as if they are all the same thing, whereas of course these are minority stigmatized populations within their own countries and may well remain so here. It's like taking examples of British people off 'My Big Fat Gipsy Wedding'- many people simply can't relate to what is essentially a sub-culture.

alemci Wed 27-Mar-13 15:11:50

I think the last government let far too many unskilled people in from 1997.

Also I still think we need to put our own young people and graduates first who would like to be given half a chance to prove themselves and be able to have a career. Why should it be made so difficult for them.

I understand about the differences in culture with the Roma but it is still problematical.

Mumsyblouse Wed 27-Mar-13 15:12:22

Alemci- yes I agree, there are a fairly disposessed Roma population who are already ostracised in Eastern Europe who may well come here, and a few have done already, but most EE's don't identify with that culture, despite the Daily Mail's best efforts to conflate the two effortlessly.

anqet Wed 27-Mar-13 16:08:54

Roma integration is extremely difficult. I remember growing up in Communist Romania and we had Roma families in the community. I had Roma friends, even though my parents didn't agree with that. Part of it was because they were stealing from my grandparents' garden even though my grandparents were giving them food when they were coming to our door to ask.

Also, one of my tasks a as communist 'scout'/pioneer was to knock on their door in the morning to make sure my class mate was coming to school. They didn't want to send their child to school. To them it was a burden, it was costly - uniform mainly, as school books were free at the time - and they preferred if their child stayed at home to work (or some sent them to steal..). They registered their children just to get child benefits. At some point in history, I can't remember the year, the former dictator started giving them incentives (a one-off payment) if they registered the birth of their child.

Of course, not all Romas are like that. I'm talking about my very limited experience.

And things have changed since then. However, it is true that Romas are still marginalized and there is prejudice and discrimination - but they do have access to state education, healthcare, etc. in the same way all Romanians have. There is even "positive discrimination" -- there are "Roma places" in state universities, where admission criteria are not only academic but ethnic. They have political representation too.

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Mar-13 17:55:43

I often go into Central London, Victoria etc. Who are these people with EE accents pulling at you asking for money. Everytime I go in now there are people begging often with very young chidlren. Its horrible and upsetting. I consider myself to be street wise, there were two of them surrounding me last time... One presumably to distract me and the other to dip into my handbag...

When I drive into London at certain crossroads there are EE's cleaning your windscreen whether you want it or not. They are becoming increasingly agressive when they tap on your window for paying.

ttosca Wed 27-Mar-13 18:08:24

Bridget

> I have always found the 'equalities' agenda a particular con. The biggest inequalities in the country at the moment is the gap between rich and poor. But the lefts insistence that it is actually between races, religions and sexual preferences is a smoke screen to distract from the fact that they are doing nothing about real inequalities which are financial.

The left doesn't insist that the greatest inequalities are between races or sexes or religion. Those are liberal pre-occupations, some of which the left agree with.

The left has always insisted that class is the primary and most important inequality in society, and if you fix that, then other inequalities will follow. Stop the small minority of parasites prospering from the hard work of the majority is the main goal of the left - at least those from the socialist tradition.

Have you never heard the slogan 'No war but the class war'?

> Look at what the last Labour government did - abolished the 10p tax rate, abolished the student grant, introduced tuition fees. All things which massively increased the inequalities in our society. But they got away with little comment.

In what way did they 'get away with little comment'? This simply isn't true at all.

ttosca Wed 27-Mar-13 18:14:49

Immigrants are taking the flak for the government's failings

David Cameron is using a sensitive and important issue purely for political advantage.

www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/03/immigrants-are-taking-flak-governments-failings

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Mar-13 19:07:25

I agree broadly with Bridget as I said up thread. I also agree with ttosca though that the smokescreen of cultural, racial, gender inequalities are a liberal fixation which has seeped into the discourse of moderate mainstream left ie, Labour party. Miliband is gone.....perhaps the rest of the Blairite interlopers would care to follow grin

Bridgetbidet Wed 27-Mar-13 19:18:38

Ttosca, that's splitting hairs and arguing over terminology, which is yet another obfuscation.

The fact is whether you call it the left, liberals or the liberal left - that group of people has long abandoned financial inequality for other kinds of inequality which are easier to deal with and distract from the fact they are allowing monetary inequality to explode.

Do you seriously think you could find a member of the left wing establishment who had real power to stand publicly behind the 'No War but Class War' slogan?

If you think the left wing establishment represents the poor you're deluded.

The equalities agenda is a sop to make lefties feel good about themselves whilst they sell the poor down the river.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Mar-13 19:25:43

"No war but the class war" I think it might catch on. Just as we have American corporations pitching up to take over search and rescue and their other great export "the foodbank", when the workers wake up and realise it's not benefits claimants picking their pockets........yep it might just catch on !

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 28-Mar-13 02:18:09

Mini - "Creating a situation where inequality is perceived to be based on gender, culture, race and religion is used to divide us. Identity politics plays into the hands of global capital."

This is utter bollocks and the reason so many left wing movements end up as talking shops for white men (note the recent implosion of the SWP). Who are you to tell someone that the racism they experience is actually just a situation they perceive?

sieglinde Thu 28-Mar-13 07:49:38

I see that evil agent of Marxist dogma The Times has an op-ed piece showing that much-touted scare figures about immigration are wrong.

In particular: I post a few chunks for those who don't have Times subscriptions

"The “migrants take the new jobs” argument is based on a fallacy. Oxford University’s Migration Observatory concludes that the most you can say is that “migrants account for 16 per cent of newly hired people, but we’re not sure if they’re doing newly created jobs or not and we don’t know whether those jobs would exist if the migrants weren’t here”.

Pay There is evidence of downward pressure in low-pay sectors and a slight upward effect in high-pay ones.

----I note this will bother many, but it might be a way of lowering costs - we have to do that if we are going to get out of our economic mess...

Drain on services Immigrants from countries that acceded to the EU in 2004 have been net contributors to the exchequer ever since, putting more in in taxes than they have taken out in services. Unlike the rest of us."

So I'm afraid it isn't just the evil Guardian and the left-wing BBC. It's people in touch with REALITY.

MiniTheMinx Thu 28-Mar-13 08:46:35

GoshAnneGorilla,

I am not saying that people perceive discrimination rather than experience it on an individual level due to race/culture/gender. You are misrepresenting what is meant. I am calling for solidarity on the issues we share in common. I am looking to find common ground rather divide people. When we divide people we create antagonism where it might not have to existed. ie if you bring workers together over labour relations irrespective of culture/nationality and race it generally has the effect of allowing people to see these "others" as human, just like them, sharing much in common. If people assimilate and work together and befriend people of other races/cultures you break down racism. Division causes race tensions.

pollypandemonium Thu 28-Mar-13 14:02:29

Pollypandemonium, the employee's labour is 'worth' whatever the additional income derived by the employer as a result of them working there. If that income is lower than the minimum wage, than the person becomes unemployable. The higher you raise the minimum wage, the more people you render unemployable.

The larger businesses will pocket any profit they make or plough it back into increasing their empire or in a tax haven. They don't need to pay minimum wage, they could afford to pay more. The only reason they can get the staff is because the staff's wages are topped up with tax credits paid by the government and the taxpayer.

I agree that smaller businesses need preferential treatment and support to keep employees but the government shouldn't be topping up Tesco's salaries.

merrymouse Thu 28-Mar-13 18:15:02

Not sure who you are quoting polly, but if somebody can't afford to pay somebody else a living wage to do a full time job, then I think it's the business model that's at fault, not the minimum wage.

"I'd like you to make widgets for me all day, but having spent all your time doing this , you wont have enough money to buy food": historically this has generally ended in revolution.

However, clearly this model is still quite popular despite its drawbacks (and may be responsible for much of the current immigration problem).

BadLad Fri 29-Mar-13 07:55:07

Japan has a much, much higher population density than the UK but also has much better infrastructure. It isn't a 'breaking point'; it functions much more efficiently and cheaply than the UK.

With respect, everything after the word "also" in this is complete bollocks.

pollypandemonium Fri 29-Mar-13 23:38:21

The problem on an economic level, with having too many migrant workers is that they do displace British workers. The British ex-workers are paid benefit by the UK taxpayers. This takes the burden off the originating country, who save on their benefit bill and reduce their unemployment statistics.

Furthermore, the migrant workers will not invest in this country - they will tend to invest in their home country and spend their free time back in their home country where their spare cash will be spent. This is the economic reality, and although the statistics regarding tax input from migrant workers are positive for the UK they don't take into account the potential loss for the UK.

Migrant workers are great for big businesses though, because they will keep wages down. This IFS report will be good news for the likes of Tesco who will feel justified in paying the lowest wages that only those who are here temporarily and have a second 'home' are able to afford.

pollypandemonium Fri 29-Mar-13 23:45:41
ttosca Sat 30-Mar-13 14:18:46

European watchdog accuses Britain of shameful rhetoric on migrants

Bulgarians and Romanians 'treated like a scourge' as immigration debate in UK takes worrying turn, says watchdog

www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/29/eu-watchdog-britain-shameful-rhetoric-migrants

flatpackhamster Sat 30-Mar-13 14:59:45

No, it couldn't be the EU's open border policy that fosters hostility towards migrants.

maisiejoe123 Sat 30-Mar-13 15:46:30

So low paid EU migrants will come here often to take the roles that apparently some of the British people dont want. They might bring their families, they will need housing, they might get their wages topped up, they will be entitled to NHS treatment and their children can immediately be enrolled into a school.

How is this benefiting the economy bearing in mind they havent yet paid anything into the pot?

Sorry, but I really dont see how this can be an economic benefit to the UK. I can definitely see how it is beneficial for the migrant themselves.

alemci Sat 30-Mar-13 16:50:15

I think the British people probably do want the jobs and it is a fallacy that they don't. they just need a decent wage and affordable housing and they should be given priority. I think it is dreadful the way politicians over the years' haven't taken this on board.

ttosca Sat 30-Mar-13 22:01:26

So the first bugbear was that immigrants are all here, claiming benefits and not working, living in large houses whilst the natives suffer.

The second bugbear was that immigrants are here stealing all the jobs, and the jobs should be left to the natives, or that the natives should be given priority.

The reality is that immigrant bashing isn't based on reason but fear. The percentage of immigrants who claim benefits is half those of UK nationals.

Meanwhile, in some areas where there are fewest immigrants, there is the largest amount of xenophobic paranoia that 'they' are stealing 'our' jobs. Large cities, in which there are the most amount of immigrants, tend not to have so much xenophobia.

ttosca Sat 30-Mar-13 22:01:56

A bad day for foreign scroungers

But a worse one for David Cameron, as the prime minister panders to the xenophobes

www.economist.com/news/britain/21574487-worse-one-david-cameron-prime-minister-panders-xenophobes-bad-day

pollypandemonium Sat 30-Mar-13 22:34:44

Well that's fine that the economist says that immigrants put in more tax than they take out, but they DO displace employment. They do take our jobs. 12% of the population of Ipswich is quite a high number when you consider that most of the immigrants are workers. About 40% of the general population of Ipswich would probably be not working due to age. The 12% number would increase proportionately to about 18%. So it's like having 18% less of a chance of getting the job you applied for.

The Economist is going to be pro-immigration because it saves big business money. I find it very interesting that it is becoming less of a race/xenophobia issue and rapidly becoming an economics issue to the tories. Cameron is now in a dilemma - he can't say immigration is bad for the UK because it is good for business.

pollypandemonium Sat 30-Mar-13 22:45:22

Good point ttosca, the goalposts have indeed changed. For years the immigrants were 'here for the benefits' but now it seem they are here to take our jobs.

I think the immigrants that we have coming from Europe are a far greater threat to our jobs than previously because they have had a much better education and they are culturally more similar. They are also less likely to be so dependent on the UK system (including their employers) because they can go home when they want to, it's a £30 Easyjet flight away. A man can work in the UK and fly home at weekends to be with his family so he doesn't come with the needs that a family from Nigeria would. This wave of immigrants more of a threat to UK employees than those from the old empire, who tended to take the surplus jobs.

ttosca Sat 30-Mar-13 22:54:43

polly-

If the country isn't mired in a triple(?)-dip recession and has good growth, immigration is not going substantively - if it at all - worsen unemployment because the demand for more workers is there.

At the moment some people are blaming immigrants for the unemployment problem - but it isn't an immigrant problem, it's a recession problem. If you fix the economy, immigrants enrich the nation, contribute to GDP, and yes, create growth which helps create jobs.

pollypandemonium Sat 30-Mar-13 23:03:14

Of course it would help to fix the economy of the countries the immigrants had to flee from in the first place. Then they wouldn't want to come here anyway and have good jobs and lives in their own country. Can't see many of us flocking to Romania when that happens but perhap we won't have any choice!

giveitago Sun 31-Mar-13 13:35:05

!I think the immigrants that we have coming from Europe are a far greater threat to our jobs than previously because they have had a much better education and they are culturally more similar"

Excuse me? How so? Is that actually a fact?

ttosca Sun 31-Mar-13 16:08:43

Bridget-

> Ttosca, that's splitting hairs and arguing over terminology, which is yet another obfuscation.

I'm really not. These are two different ideologies. Liberals are primarily concerned with personal freedom and rights against the state and the public. Marxists and 'leftists' are primarily concerned about abolishing Capitalism - or at the very least what they perceive to be 'economic injustice'.

>The fact is whether you call it the left, liberals or the liberal left - that group of people has long abandoned financial inequality for other kinds of inequality which are easier to deal with and distract from the fact they are allowing monetary inequality to explode.

The left hasn't abandoned anything, and there are more anti-Capitalists alive today than there has ever been in history. Income and wealth inequality is a huge issue, and isn't being ignored at all. Have you tried getting involved with some campaign groups? Wealth inequality and poverty is pretty much the #1 issue at the moment.

> Do you seriously think you could find a member of the left wing establishment who had real power to stand publicly behind the 'No War but Class War' slogan?

The 'left wing establishment'? Who is the 'left wing establishment'?

> If you think the left wing establishment represents the poor you're deluded.

I'm not sure who you're referring to. The SWP?

> The equalities agenda is a sop to make lefties feel good about themselves whilst they sell the poor down the river.

I think you're confused. Social equality - fighting against racism, sexism, etc. is very important. Fighting for these things are not at odds with economic justice. In fact, they go in hand.

ttosca Sun 31-Mar-13 16:09:28

Immigration halt result in UK debt rise: Report

Putting a halt to net migration would lead to an increase in public sector net debt by £18 billion within five years from now, a new research shows.

According to an analysis of Office for Budget Responsibility data by the Migration Matters Trust, debt would rise from 74 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 187 percent within the next 50 years if net migration to UK were stopped tomorrow.

The report also found that halting net migration would cost every British taxpayer £137,000 in their lifetime.

"Once you set aside the rhetoric and the hyperbole, you're left with a simple truth - Britain cannot afford to shut its doors to migrant workers," said director of the Migration Matters Trust Atul Hatwal.

Immigrants will face tougher curbs on unemployment and housing benefits and also access to National Health Service (NHS), under a new crackdown unveiled by the British Prime Minister David Cameron on March 25.

Speaking at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich, Cameron said jobless immigrants from the European Union (EU) will have the government allowance ripped from their hands after six months unless they prove they have been actively looking for a job.

www.presstv.ir/detail/295936.html

anqet Mon 01-Apr-13 15:54:42

In Britain We Are Being Flooded By Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Romanian Rhetoric - Who Is it Helping?
Tessa Dunlop
Posted: 01/04/2013
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/tessa-dunlop/immigration-anti-romanian-rhetoric-not-helping_b_2983537.html

pollypandemonium Mon 01-Apr-13 19:38:12

ttosca that is already true of most people - you only get JSA for a certain period of time I think it's 6 months, after which you have to prove you have been looking for work. They would still get income support.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now