Have we got immigrant paranoia?(277 Posts)
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?
Immigrants are taking the flak for the government's failings
David Cameron is using a sensitive and important issue purely for political advantage.
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
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.
"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 !
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?
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 Universitys Migration Observatory concludes that the most you can say is that migrants account for 16 per cent of newly hired people, but were not sure if theyre doing newly created jobs or not and we dont know whether those jobs would exist if the migrants werent 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.
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, 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.
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).
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.
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.
This website has some more balanced articles.
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
No, it couldn't be the EU's open border policy that fosters hostility towards migrants.
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.
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.
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.
A bad day for foreign scroungers
But a worse one for David Cameron, as the prime minister panders to the xenophobes
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.
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.
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.
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!
!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, 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.
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.
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