Advanced search

Mass Immigration, scare mongering??

(317 Posts)
Flickstix Thu 24-Jan-13 10:09:24

Am I being unreasonable to think it is a problem or am I just falling prey to media propaganda? The whole EU debate seems to have highlighted it but I would like to understand it better.

LayMizzRarb Thu 24-Jan-13 18:42:47

My local Sainsbury employs a lot of Polish people. With the comparative difference in wages, it is very worthwhile for someone to come from Poland or elsewhere and work and save hard for a few years, then return to Poland, or any other Eastern European country with a nice nest egg to buy a property. Good on them - many Brits do it after all, by working in Arabia, Hong Kong etc coming back with funds to buy somewhere.
The big companies know this. They know they have a transitionary work force who may only be in the country a few years, and so pay the lowest wages they can get away with, and do whatever they can to cut costs, by not offering to pay double for Sundays BH's etc. people who will only be in the job for 3/4 years tops are not going to kick up a fuss.
Again, we should take Australia's example. No benefits, for migrant workers, including healthcare should be paid until someone has two years of NI contributions made . Australians can come over too the UK, work for 6 months, and then claim benefits and healthcare. Wrong

vadus Thu 24-Jan-13 19:31:45

The idea that we should only accept "skilled" migrants is flawed. First of all, who decides who is skilled? Businesses know best what employees they need, not the government. And foreign entrepreneurs can create jobs. Secondly, unskilled migrants benefit the economy too: they often do unskilled jobs better or more cheaply than unskilled British workers. More efficient/cheaper workers means more profits for firms. Let's tax that profit and use the proceeds to help British unemployed people get the training and qualifications they need to find good jobs. If we "protect" unskilled workers through restrictive immigration laws we are failing them and harming the economy.
Net immigration means a population growth and hence more strain on the health service and housing, but we should address this by fixing the housing problem and the problems of the NHS, which weren't caused by immigration and wont go away if we do restrict immigration.
Immigration can cause social frictions, but the way to address these is through measures to promote integration, not though caps or quotas on who enters the country. The failure of immigration policy in the last 10 years is that we haven't done enough to integrate migrants and redistribute the economic benefits of immigration, not that we have let too many in. And the anti-immigration lot continue to ignore the problem of integration.

PessaryPam Thu 24-Jan-13 19:41:04

Who cares, we are selling up and leaving. it will be someone elses problem soon.

A net tax payer x

alemci Thu 24-Jan-13 19:47:19

could someone tell me a positive of the Romanians and Bulgarians being able to come and live and work here at the end of the year?

MousyMouse Thu 24-Jan-13 19:48:37

I think it is scaremongering tbh.
it is not that the whole countries will knock at the door to be let in...
(uk is not the golden ticket the press is making it out to be, just have a look at expat forums ranting about 'quality of life' 'work-life-balance' 'size and quality of housing')

mathanxiety Thu 24-Jan-13 19:54:59

I second every word Mrs D V has said here.

Immigration of eastern Europeans to the US continues apace despite the almost complete lack of a social safety net and horrible public medical provision for them there if they run into hard times or poor health. Chicago is the largest Polish population centre outside of Warsaw. East Europeans dominate certain industries and services in some cities in the US, along with Irish and Mexicans. Roofing, limo driving, yard crews, etc, to name a few. They tend to be the starters of the sort of small businesses that are the bedrock of an economy and keep local communities ticking over.

Historically speaking, a lot of Irish people used to send money home that kept local economies afloat, and this happens with eastern European immigrants too. Those who bemoan the lack of EU input into making Romania and Bulgaria, etc., better places to live need to understand that most immigrants want to make a better life for themselves and have initiative to burn (proven by uprooting themselves and settling somewhere else), plus the desire to show those back home that they are doing ok, and especially the desire to send money back and make Romania and Bulgaria, etc., better places to live all by themselves.

Historically speaking, there was mass hysteria at the many waves of Irish people arriving in Britain over the last 150 years but that has hardly been the disaster many thought it would be.

chickensarmpit Thu 24-Jan-13 20:07:09

I never thought I would say this. Immigration needs to be capped now! I understand people are coming here for a better life but what about my kids? What is going to be left when my kids become adults? They'll be no housing, hospital beds wil be full, what about jobs? And school places. My tiny village doctors is struggling already but if other countries are allowed to have their people come here then we're fecked. The government need to sort this out now, it's getting beyond a joke and to be honest I fear for the future of my children.

lljkk Thu 24-Jan-13 20:09:05

Do I live in the most obscure corner of the country?
I am the only foreign-born parent I know of up at DC school (have been hanging around there for 9 years so I know quite a few parents, staff).

0.3% of the primary school population are non-white.

It's hard to detect an immigration problem here.

vadus Thu 24-Jan-13 20:10:53

Again, we should take Australia's example. No benefits, for migrant workers, including healthcare should be paid until someone has two years of NI contributions made . Australians can come over too the UK, work for 6 months, and then claim benefits and healthcare. Wrong

Surely the ideal situation would be one where British people can go and work in Australia, and have access to healthcare while they are there, and Australians can come and work in Britain and also have access to healthcare.

This kind of reciprocal, mutually beneficial arrangement is precisely what the EU provides.

Arguably, the reason why it didn't work out too well with the EU eastern enlargement had as much to do with other EU countries putting restrictions on immigration from Poland etc. as it does with us failing to introduce such restrictions. Eastern Europeans immigrants came here in part because they couldn't work legally anywhere else. Countries could all engage in a race to the bottom to see which can come up with the most unpleasant immigration policies but surely we're all better off if we can agree to be equally liberal.

FlipFlopFloss Thu 24-Jan-13 20:15:42

I am struggling to find another country that will take me as an unemployed supermarket worker/chambermaid/cleaner , give me benefits and eventually somewhere to live and thats before I worry about my existing medical condition. Really cant find anywhere else in Europe that would willingly take me and give me what I will eventually get here.

One thing that pissed me off very recently was when I was looking for employment at my nearby airport and was told by 3 of the large local hotels (large chains) that they had no vacancies for housekeepers etc. Not put off I spent a whole night up looking for jobs on the web and lo and behold the same hotels that less than 12 hours earlier had told me they were not recruiting nor had any vacancies were advertising on Eastern European websites for the very same jobs I wanted and asked after. So the next day I went into the hotels and asked about the positions, dressed smartly with my CVs and was told by (broken english speaking with an accent) reception staff that the manager was unavailable but they would pass on my CV - I as a british citizen was not even given the opportunity to apply - those from Eastern Europe were - thats not fair imo. I wanted a job. Any job (and have experience for the roles they were advertising for) and was prepared to work for the minimum wage but was never contacted. I have since popped in a few times to ask about vacancies and have never spoken to anyone with a British accent and am always told there are no vacancies.

So I am hoping some EU country is advertising somewhere just for British staff. I live in hope.

vadus Thu 24-Jan-13 20:24:30

could someone tell me a positive of the Romanians and Bulgarians being able to come and live and work here at the end of the year?

Can someone tell me a positive of Scots being able to come and live and work in England?

I doubt there will be a huge influx of Romanians and Bulgarians to Britain in 2014. Immigration restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians will end in all EU member states, I'm sure many prospective migrants will prefer Germany or one of the Scandinavian countries over Britain.

Viviennemary Thu 24-Jan-13 20:32:56

I am bothered about the number of people a country this size should reasonably be able to support. And I think cashflow is a problem that should be tackled. Money going out of the country versus money coming in. Maybe it isn't really a problem because it is balanced out by tourism and so on.

CommanderShepard Thu 24-Jan-13 20:48:38

I am uncomfortable with the idea of being like Australia given how they've treated their own indigenous population in the past!

Portofino Thu 24-Jan-13 20:54:33

It is a very difficult subject. I live in Brussels where 25% of the population are non Belgian and a huge number of people pay no or little tax in Belgium. Belgian did put in place the restrictions available to all EU countries to limit movement/working of ie Polish/Slovakian people initially which the UK did not.

But they also have a service cheque system in place where it illegal to hire, say domestic help, without buying the cheques, which insures that your cleaner etc is legal, insured, pays tax, pays NI etc. So it would be illegal for me to hire a Romanian working for less than minimum wage. I could be heavily fined, and if they had an accident in my house, I would be liable.

I am an EU immigrant and enjoy my right to live and work in another EU country. I pay (shedloads of) tax and we enjoy access to local health and education provision. I would be a hypocrite to deny the same opportunity to anyone else. But I do worry that the UK is too crowded and has a benefit system that is too complicated and discourages people from taking seasonal or low paid work, meaning that it is easier for employers to take on cheap labour from elsewhere.

Portofino Thu 24-Jan-13 20:58:01

Sorry - I sound a bit up myself there- but I think a lot of the fault lies with employers and the benefits system rather than the immigrants.

Flickstix Thu 24-Jan-13 21:10:26

Absolutely the fault is with the system. No one in their right mind can blame people for wanting a better life for themselves & their families. If I was a poor Romanian I with children to support and I heard you could have a better life in the UK I would be on the first plane over here.

pettyprudence Thu 24-Jan-13 21:31:57

Another one coming to say ditto to MrsDeVere

I hate this scaremongering. On an anecdotal level I have yet to meet anyone who has been affected by immigration. I do not know anyone who has lost out on a job, not received nhs care, lost out on housing etc..... In fact if it wasn't for immigrants, most of my friends and I would not have jobs. But no-one ever wants to talk about how much immigrants add to society, only what they take away. Immigrants have been ADDING £billions to the UK economy each year. Yes some immigrants may cost us, but more add to our economy.

Do those who oppose immigration oppose retired britons moving to france/spain/portugal and mis-using their healthcare systems, not paying taxes there, claiming uk state pensions etc....?

alemci Thu 24-Jan-13 21:32:09

True Flick but I think the UK government needs to sort it out and listen to its constituents.

I wouldn't mind living in the USA but it is not that straightforward.

Portofino Thu 24-Jan-13 21:35:35

Here, there were several families of Romanians living in the Gare du Nord for MONTHS. With small children and babies. In the station with no bathing or cooking facilities. In the perishing cold this week, there are other women begging on the street with babies. Maybe the UK is the mug in all this, but heck, when humanity and compassion comes into it, I would prefer that this was not allowed to happen.

Portofino Thu 24-Jan-13 21:37:53

pettyprudence - indeed not - and they are quick to move back when the exchange rate is not in their favour! Or they need an operation...

Flickstix Thu 24-Jan-13 21:41:28

alemci - Yes, I agree. I actually looked into moving to the US a few years ago and it is incredibly difficult!

morethanpotatoprints Thu 24-Jan-13 22:02:00

Aren't all these countries being mentioned part of the EU and aren't we also part of the EU. There is nothing anybody can do to stop anybody from the EU coming here.
The Politicians won't give a hoot though as its unlikely to affect their little insular world.

Jinsei Thu 24-Jan-13 22:25:41

It really isn't that straightforward for non-EU migrants to come to the UK either, so comparisons with Australia and the US are pretty meaningless. We have a points-based immigration system already. It's different for EU migrants, just as it would be different for us if we wanted to go to another EU state.

I live in an area which is very diverse, with lots of relatively recent immigrants. Many of the kids in dd's class have English as a second language. I am delighted by the rich experience this gives her. I don't fear for her future. I don't recognise the scare stories. I'm not saying that there aren't problems in some parts of the country, but it isn't my experience at all.

Mimishimi Fri 25-Jan-13 02:09:58

I get nervous but only because I look quite a lot like a Romanian or Bulgarian. I do understand that welfare provisions absolutely need to be tightened up - only after five years of contributing or something and then for a limited amount of time. I do not automatically assume that East European immigrants are feckless because my experience of them, even if they are very poor, is quite the opposite.

mathanxiety Fri 25-Jan-13 03:59:06

FlipFlopFloss -- somewhere in deepest, leafiest England, someone is laughing all the way to the bank about what they are able to get away with under current law.

Chickensarmpit, what is needed is an economy that grows enough and that is what the government should have as its priority. Take away the immigrants and you are still left with the NHS on its knees, a housing shortage, an education system that benefits only a fraction of students and sells the rest far short of what they need, a benefits and tax system that discourages casual or seasonal work, and a stagnating economy with a government committed blindly to austerity.

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