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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?

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.

ProbablyJustGas Mon 25-Mar-13 15:21:05

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?

ProbablyJustGas Mon 25-Mar-13 15:24:21

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

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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.'

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.

So it is about 6.4%

However, there is a clear contradiction. Here is a graph of unemplyement by gender and ethnicity, 2009 - 2011:

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:

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

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

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

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.
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:

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.

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